The deeper shade of green

Sarah Ball
Sarah Ball

Sarah Ball, Joint MD at glazing specialist full-service marketing agency Balls2 Marketing, says upcoming legislation will drive the need for even more energy efficient glazing products but choosing a greener marketing strategy will pay dividends.  

For the first time in many years, windows have come into the top 10 of home improvements as the need to reduce energy usage becomes a priority, according to the Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report 2023.

With energy prices remaining high and a huge amount of upcoming legislation around energy efficiency in homes due to come into force over the next few years, businesses across the whole supply chain in the glazing industry can get ahead by marketing the energy efficient credentials of their products.

The latest round of Building Regulations that affected glazing was Part L and Part F in 2022 which has now taken effect across all sectors and products. The Future Homes Standards, although the exact requirements are yet to be announced, are likely to up the energy efficiency requirements of glazing. We are expecting some direction by the end of the year.

Plus, there’s a Private Members’ bill going through parliament at the moment, that is looking to increase the requirements of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to a minimum of a C level by 2035. It’s well on its way, with the second reading on 24 November 2023.

The argument around this change is that the cost of heating poorly insulated buildings is far greater than better insulated homes. But, and this is a big but, there are 15 million homes in the UK that were built pre-1983 that are hard to heat, which means it will be very difficult for these to hit the target.

The glazing industry is responding as it always does to the higher requirements of legislation. If you visited FIT Show there were lots of products boasting higher U values, and energy efficiency has once again become a hot topic.

But waiting for legislation isn’t an option if companies want to reap the biggest benefits from marketing. A big example of this, is the introduction of Window Energy Ratings (WERS) which the industry did proactively and showed our commitment to energy efficiency.

In fact, we have a long history of promoting the energy efficiency of windows. For those readers old enough it all started with Everest’s TV advert starring Ted Moult at the Tan Hill Inn, the highest pub in England, to demonstrate the draught proofing of windows.

At Balls2 Marketing, we have a special interest in energy efficiency, especially in buildings. We upgraded our offices and now have high efficiency lights and PIRs, space and water heating, as well as EV chargers, which saves 7.4 tonnes of CO2 per year.

We are investing again this year by adding solar PV. Joint MD Andy Ball was a key driver in making WERs more accessible across the industry, and I sit on the Decarbonisation Board through University of Derby in conjunction with local and regional organisations and councils.

Georgia Husselbee, our digital and content executive is our Decarbonisation Champion. Georgia’s championship includes keeping up to date on all relevant legislation, attending regular trainings and seminars on energy efficiency and decarbonisation, and sharing relevant news to our team and clients.

Building specialisms like this within the team means we can help customers get the best from their marketing. We also understand that it’s not just the end products that impact corporate environmental performance.

We work with a renewables company, and businesses that are generating electric through solar, adding EV chargers or installing more energy efficient ways of lighting and heating are reaping the rewards of the added promotion, especially on platforms like LinkedIn.

Efficiency in transportation, packaging, recycling and reuse, all have an impact on the environment, and all of this can be promoted to support companies’ green credentials.

As a full-service agency, we see energy efficiency as a huge marketing benefit for many businesses within the glazing industry, it’s a must have for successful companies. Getting ahead of the curve and offering higher rated products in advance of the new legislation will attract consumers looking for ‘better than’ products rather than just scraping through on Building Regs.

We like to think of this change as being a deeper shade of green!