Feeling the heat?

Martyn Haworth, director of Bison Frames, examines how the discussion about energy efficiency has moved on, and what the end user is expecting from them and the industry.

With the ongoing heatwaves we saw this summer, following last winter’s heavy snows, scientists say we are now seeing the real time effects of climate change. They claim the hot spells we’ve seen in the UK and further afield were made more than twice as likely by climate change and it’s widely predicted to get worse.

Brexit continues to create political and economic uncertainty and, in relation to climate change, puts even more emphasis on our island’s energy usage. There continue to be calls for the UK government to focus on energy priorities as part of the negotiations for Brexit – particularly important for the UK window industry is the political desire to incorporate ambitious energy efficiency targets into the new UK policy framework. This, on its own, looks set to put energy efficiency firmly back on the agenda for the home improvement sector.

Window Energy Ratings may seem like old news now, but do you remember when WERs were first introduced? Despite being established in 1999, the BFRC had only registered seven Window Energy Ratings by 2005. The momentum after that slow start began to build, but it still took another eight years for us to see the first A+ rating achieved.

Climate change was now firmly on the agenda but there were other reasons to choose WERs.

When Window Energy Ratings were first introduced it was in part to drive standards forward, and this presented the industry with a considerable marketing opportunity. Homeowners hadn’t seen the energy label on windows before but soon recognised the benefits having previously seen them in the domestic white goods market.

Not all fabricators were quick to pick up on this but those that did capitalised, quickly setting about making incremental improvements a high priority.

Competition was strong as fabricators progressed initially from ‘C’, then ‘B’, ‘A’ and ultimately ‘A+’. The looks and practicality of windows became less of a priority as WERs took centre stage, and became routinely sought after.

Emphasis in recent years had shifted to the security of our windows and doors, and added value features such as special colours and timber appearance PVCU. Energy efficiency is still a key consideration but the difference now is that the customer can have it all; energy efficiency is as important as ever and homeowners don’t have to compromise on the added value features they know are available.

We’re proud to say that our Genesis Collection of PVCU and aluminium windows and doors ticks all these boxes. The collection now includes PVCU flush sash casements, folding and sliding doors and bifolding doors, sash windows and the full range of WarmCore windows, patio and bifolding doors. All made with the utmost attention to detail, stunning aesthetics, high performance security, colour and hardware choices to meet the requirements of the most discerning homeowner.

All of this without compromising on the ever-important energy efficiency.


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