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GGP February 2017

G L A S S & G L A S S PROCESSING Is there a boost ahead for energy efficient glazing? Phil Brown, European regulatory marketing manager at Pilkington UK, discusses the current developments around energy efficiency policies and what the glass and glazing sector can do to boost uptake amongst homeowners and businesses. There’s been a lot of noise around energy efficiency in recent months, and there’s certainly developments that the glass and glazing sector will be able to take advantage of in the near future. Whether it comes in 2017 or further ahead, I almost want to say that for IGU manufacturers, the stars are aligning – almost. Developments at home and abroad The Scottish government recently put forward new proposals to achieve a 66% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2032, after impressively surpassing its 2020 targets six years early. This keeps energy efficiency firmly on the agenda north of the border, where the glass and glazing sector can help in meeting these targets. Over at Westminster, the UK Government announced that it would publish its Emission Reduction Plan during 2017. On the continent, where the implications of any legislation changes are unclear for the UK, the European Commission recently released the Clean Energy for All Europeans package. This policy revision proposes a binding EU-wide energy efficiency target of 30% by 2030. We also had the long awaited Each Home Counts report in December, an independent review of the government’s residential energy policy. It concluded by recommending a new quality mark in a bid to increase consumer confidence in energy efficient measures, and in turn increase the number of homeowners improving their property’s energy efficiency. The recommendations from the review weren’t necessarily focussed on the needs of the glass and glazing sector, but all being well it will come good on its word of increasing confidence, or at least put energy efficiency front of mind for consumers. What we need to do for consumers There’s evidently a lot of work going on behind the scenes to promote consumer uptake of energy efficient products. However, there are cases “Whether it comes in 2017 or further ahead, I almost want to say that for IGU manufacturers, the stars are aligning” the glass and glazing sector can be putting to homeowners to help increase uptake further. We need to be communicating the economic benefits of upgrading windows. A recent National Energy Foundation report indicated that 8.7% of the overall energy used in UK homes can be saved if energy efficient glass is installed – further quantifying the impact our sector can have on overall energy usage. The same report revealed 3.4% of the overall energy used in UK homes could be saved if energy leakage around windows was reduced through measures such as improved installation. Again, this demonstrates the importance of manufacturers, fabricators and installers continuing to work closely together to ensure optimum results are achieved. With energy prices having outstripped inflation in recent years and increases set to continue, investment in high-performance glass could pay itself off many times over throughout the 20 year-plus lifespan of a typical window. What we need to do for businesses The European Commission cites that buildings are responsible for 40% of total energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU. New buildings generally need less than three to five litres of heating oil per square metre per year, while older buildings consume about 25 litres on average. This puts forward a great case for those businesses with older property estates to invest in and upgrade their building’s energy efficiency. If they own the building outright, upgrading has the potential to slash energy overheads, and makes their property more valuable, as sustainable buildings can be more attractive to prospective tenants and buyers. We also need to explain to commercial customers that truly energy efficient glazing minimises heat lost in the winter as much as heat gained in the summer. Thermal efficient glazing that has solar control properties – which minimises heat gain – such as Pilkington Suncool, can help reduce heating costs in the winter and air conditioning costs in the summer. Going forward For all of us working in the glass and glazing sector, we know how important glazing is to the energy efficiency of a home or business. While the recent policy changes may not deliver during 2017, they paint a positive picture looking ahead. However, we need to be asking ourselves whether we’re doing enough to persuade the people who ultimately make the decision? 24 www.ggpmag.com February 2017


GGP February 2017
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