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Double glazing scrappage scheme

Many questions have been asked as to whether a Government approved window scrappage scheme exists along similar lines to those schemes which encouraged owners of older cars and boilers to replace their older models as part of the Government's initiative to improve energy efficiency. The Boiler Scrappage Scheme which was launched by the Energy Saving Trust in 2010 proved so popular that it was oversubscribed and withdrawn within three months. A window scrappage scheme would most likely operate in a similar way.

During the latter half of 2009, the double glazing industry petitioned the UK Government to introduce a scrappage scheme.

The industry was keen to promote the environmental benefits of replacing ageing windows in many homes with new a-rated double glazing. The added inducement of a government grant towards the home-owners costs would it was hoped have stimulated an industry that supports thousands of jobs across the UK as well as helping the UK meet its CO2 reduction levels.

Despite these efforts by the industry the Government has not thought it appropriate to instigated a scrappage scheme for this purpose.

The Governments response to this approach has been to acknowledge that energy efficiency has an important part to play in the achievement of the carbon reduction targets. The benefits of energy efficiency for households are known to be clear: namely saving money on energy bills, reducing reliance on imported energy and helping householders reduce their carbon emissions. However given the high cost of replacement windows (typically £5,000 to £10,000 for a small home), the marginal improvement in performance, particularly when replacing like-for-like double glazed windows; and given that band C windows will be the minimum standard permitted by building regulations from October 2010, The Government believes that a window scrappage scheme is unlikely to be cost effective on energy efficiency and carbon savings grounds. The Government have indicated that it believes that everyone should have the opportunity to benefit from energy efficiency measures and the energy bill savings they can bring. However, it also recognise that the cost to retrofit homes can be substantial – The hope is that the ‘Green Deal’ will allow consumers to fund the upfront cost out of energy bill savings. It is expected that double glazing will be one of the measures that can be installed under the Green Deal.

So where does the confusion arise as to the availability of a scrappage scheme? What is known is that a number of Double Glazing companies have falsely indicated the presence of a scrappage scheme which is nothing more than an advertising ploy. In whatever form the company chooses to market this so called scrappage scheme what they are in fact agreeing to do is discount the cost of providing the window replacement. Whilst any reduction in the price is to the advantage of purchaser it is perhaps misrepresentation to suggest that it is part of a scrappage initiative. Those choosing to replace their windows are still advised to consider more than one quote.

In the absence of an official scrappage scheme is there any other financial assistance to anyone choosing to provide double glazing.

Grants for double glazing are not available to the majority of UK households however some Local Authorities do operate schemes for those with low incomes. Where they are offered they are typically means-tested. It will be necessary to demonstrate that you live in a low-income household and you may be required to prove that you are in receipt of certain benefits, tax credits or allowances. In some cases you might also have to be above a certain age. If your local council do offer double glazing grants, it is highly likely that there will be a long waiting list. It is nevertheless worth contacting your local authority to ask if grants are available.