Glazing is an essential part of achieving net zero carbon targets, according to research commissioned by the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF). The research was completed by Elmhurst Energy, in association with British Glass.
“We decided to commission this substantial piece of research because, when the treasury republished the Energy Saving Materials list, glazing had once again been left out,” said Chris Beedel, the GGF’s head of advocacy and stakeholder relations. “When asked why, the response was that 86% of homes already have double glazing. As we all know, that shouldn’t be the end of the story, but we needed facts to make our stance clearer to those outside of the industry and most importantly, government.
“We have translated the research into an easy-to-read infographic entitled ‘A Window of Opportunity’, which highlights the significant difference that glazing can make. It’s also an infographic that can support the industry’s sales proposition immediately.
“Some of the key statistics uncovered by the research are that the UK is the worst performing country in western Europe in terms of heat loss, with residential properties taking nearly a quarter of all emissions. Importantly, looking at homes that had loft, floor and wall insulation, draught proofing, low-energy lighting and solar water heating, while the heat load had reduced, 44.3% of heat loss was through the windows as the point of least resistance. If the same house then had windows installed to the latest standards, the heat loss reduced to 22%. This clearly demonstrates that any approach to saving energy should include the entire building envelope, including glazing.
“The research also highlights the fact that from 15 June 2022, the minimum requirement was for B rated windows, while 70% installed since 2002 were C rated or above. So, although lots of homes do already have relatively new windows, not many meet the building standards relevant today.
“We calculate that 80 million windows would benefit from immediate replacement. That would save as much C02 as taking 1.88m cars off the road. The study also estimates that the average annual saving per household for upgrading windows to current standards is £467.
“We will continue to lobby government to get glazing recognised as the clear energy-saving home improvement it is. In the meantime this research gives us all a fantastic insight into the importance of upgrading the UK’s housing stock with more up to date windows.”