Green with dismay

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell fears the government is making a rod for its own back.

Will the Green Homes Grant scheme be another government eco failure?

Disappointingly (and yet unsurprisingly) the Green Homes Grant scheme was never going to put rockets under the fenestration industry. At best, we were hoping for associated benefits – that homeowners would set about improving the energy efficiency of their homes, and choose to upgrade their windows, doors and conservatories as a result. I suppose we can now look on with some relief; that we didn’t invest as much in it as other sectors.

I’m not overly bothered about the Green Homes Grant, per se. For me the worry is that the government is instilling this expectation of failure. If homeowners and the home improvement industry turn their backs on future government initiatives because we expect them to be unworkable, then we could miss out on some real corkers.

I say this because there is a real possibility that the government could end up pumping money into the fenestration industry as part of its drive to improve the energy efficiency of all homes in England and Wales (separately from the Green Homes Grant scheme). Boris Johnson himself has promised to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, and the government’s recent response to the Future Homes Standard puts homes (new and existing) in the firing line for energy efficiency improvements.

As a result, I believe there is a strong possibility that grants could be made available for homeowners to replace their existing windows, including first (or even second) generation double glazed windows, which would be a fantastic opportunity.

What we don’t want is homeowners to lack enthusiasm because similar schemes failed to get off the ground.