Fact: Replacement Windows Are Essential To Net Zero

The GGF has irrefutable evidence that windows, doors and glass are essential cogs in the wheel to improve the energy efficiency of UK homes and to meet the government’s international commitment to achieving net zero.

However, yet again, windows and doors have been omitted from government thinking. This time the Energy Company Obligation (ECO+) scheme and the Heat and Buildings Strategy.

This is why the Glass & Glazing Federation commissioned research from Elmhurst Energy, in association with British Glass, to produce its evidence – which leaves no room for doubt that the government has got it wrong…and has always got it wrong when it comes to our industry.


 “We decided to commission this substantial piece of research because when the treasury re-published the ‘Energy Saving Materials list’ and glazing had once again been left out.”

– Chris Beedel 

Head of advocacy & stakeholder relation, Glass & Glazing Federation


A Window of Opportunity

“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, the government,” continues Beedel. “We have translated the research into an easy-to-read infographic entitled ‘A Window of Opportunity’ which highlights the significant difference glazing can make. It’s also an infographic which can support the industry’s sales proposition immediately.


Point of least resistance

Beedel adds: “One of the key statistics uncovered by the research is the UK is the worst performing country in Western Europe in terms of heat loss, with residential properties being responsible for 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, a whopping 44.3% of heat loss was then 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.”



Not up to standards

“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 that are relevant today. In fact, we calculate that 80 million windows would benefit from immediate replacement. That would save as much CO2 as taking 1.88 million 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.”


Picture: The results are in and they show that replacement windows are essential to the net-zero goal.


Article written by Cathryn Ellis
20th March 2023


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