Whenever new initiatives are introduced, usually some market research takes place to see if the proposed idea is worth rolling out. So, when I found the following report published by Reuters in mid-March of this year, I started to question the strength of the foundations of the WER scheme:

(Reuters) – British consumers are still thinking about the price of the electronic goods they buy, rather than saving energy, according to a survey commissioned by energy-saving technology manufacturer Energenie on Monday.

Only 16 percent of British consumers said energy efficiency influences their purchasing decisions, whereas 60 percent said price was the main factor, according to research conducted by consultancy Vanson Bourne.

Out of the families surveyed, 73 percent of thought they were doing enough to be considered environmentally friendly and most claimed to have energy efficient devices in their homes.

But out of those, 81 percent had energy-saving light bulbs but much fewer had adopted other energy-saving measures such as double glazing, cavity wall insulation or energy-saving dishwashers or washing machines.

“Using energy-saving light bulbs is a great start, but it is a very passive way of reducing household energy consumption. What this proves is that for people to do something, it has to be simple and easy,” Alan J. Tadd, managing director of Energenie, said in a statement.

The research also found that 43 percent of people do not switch electrical appliances off at the mains and one fifth of men admitting they were too lazy to do so.

What this report suggests pretty strongly is that as a nation we are still very far away from making any real effort to create a greener environment for ourselves. In fact it’s pretty sad that such a large proportion of those interviewed thought that by having energy saving light bulbs they were doing their bit.

So back to the windows perspective. With the Great British public still so turned off to the idea of being energy efficient, was the WER scheme ever going to work? The evidence suggests not. The BFRC recently said that less than 10% of our industry had actually embraced the WER scheme. And as the report above suggests, only 16% of the buying public consider the energy efficiency of the product when purchasing. So what hope did we have of ever making WER a success? We have been trying to sell it’s advantages to a public that just isn’t interested, and is being sold by and industry who was never really behind it in the first place!