We should all by now be aware of the proposed amendments to Approved Document L of the UK Building Regulations, due to take effect in October, which will require all replacement windows to carry a BFRC Window Energy Rating of ‘C’ or better to achieve compliance. As the industry prepares to meet this stringent challenge we receive news from the Energy Saving Trust (EST) that it is ‘upping the ante’ even more. As of October 2010 the performance requirement for any companies looking to register for ‘Energy Saving Recommended’ status and the right to display the well known blue triangle ESR logo will be raised from the current ‘C’ rating to ‘B’.
The Energy Saving Trust has always made it clear that as soon as 20% of the market achieved a C rating, the benchmark would be raised. With the proposed amendments to the Building Regulations becoming effective in October, this milestone is upon us. Windows have been qualifying for Energy Saving Recommended status since February 2005 and according to the EST the criteria has been updated to reflect increased market penetration of endorsed products. The update comes following consultation with the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes Glazing Strategy Group, representatives of businesses, test houses and other stakeholders.
Companies that already have Energy Saving Recommended status with a C rated window will need to re-register their products to meet the new criteria from 1st August, but from 1st October any products that don’t meet the new criteria won’t be endorsed.
This latest announcement simply serves as more evidence of the direction in which the market is moving. We’ve seen a great take up of energy rated windows over the last couple of years, but it would seem 2010 will be the year our market reaches tipping point as Window Energy Ratings become a legal requirement in the case of replacement windows rather than the preserve of the forward thinking minority. Time is running out for companies who to date have chosen to wait and see whether Window Energy Ratings take off. The importance of more energy efficient technologies from companies offering support to meet this more stringent legislation and the higher standards will be even more crucial than we first suspected this year.
Andy Jones, Managing Director, Edgetech