The UK Government’s Green Deal consultation is generating significant controversy. The NSG Group – manufacturer of Pilkington glass – however welcomes clear recognition from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) of the potential role glazing can play as a key element of the policy. At the same time, it is building on engagement to date – over the last eighteen months with ministers and MPs, and discussions with DECC itself – to help ensure this potential is fully realised.
With energy efficiency glazing proposed as an official ‘qualifying improvement’, the Green Deal is set to provide consumers and businesses with the opportunity to install high performance glass, when appropriate, at no upfront cost. Property owners will then pay for the installation through savings on their energy bills. This in turn provides an opportunity for the glazing trade to supply and install more ‘added value’ glazing product in homes and workplaces across the UK.
Although a range of other qualifying improvements is more likely to be specified over glazing in the first instance, it has a key role to play. This especially includes specification alongside solid wall insulation and improving in ‘hard to treat’ older properties, by replacing single glazed sash windows with far more efficient vacuum glazing options such as Pilkington Spacia™. Its inclusion in the scheme more broadly underlines the growing relevance of high performance glass as part of the energy efficiency agenda.
Inclusion of energy-efficient glass within the Green Deal consultation is the result, at least in part, of extensive engagement with Government – both directly and through the Glass and Glazing Federation – by the NSG Group and other companies across the wider glazing sector.
David Pinder, Managing Director, Pilkington Building Products UK & South Europe explains: “Inclusion of energy-efficient glazing as a key part of the Green Deal is very much to be welcomed; helping enhance consumer choice and delivery of even greater savings in terms of cost and carbon.”
The NSG Group is now turning its attention to helping Government ensure effective implementation of the Green Deal in a way that works for both glazing customers and the end consumer alike. This involves providing Government with any technical data or industry insight it can to help ensure the schemes success.
Pinder adds: “While the Green Deal is certainly an important step forward, it is crucial that Government get the detail of the policy right when it comes to glazing. They aren’t there yet and a few issues of specific concern still needed to be addressed. But we remain committed to helping to maximise the advantages glazing can provide for the mutual benefit of consumers and our industry, right through to the point of implementation.”
The Company is clear that a robust assessment and accreditation procedure must be put in place for Green Deal assessors, to ensure that homeowners can have full confidence that the right energy efficiency measures are being recommended for them.
Given the range of assessor skills required – above and beyond glazing alone – it has also offered to provide materials and guidance to help strengthen delivery of assessor training and to provide background on the benefits of glass and glazing products.