At first it seems a bit of an odd question to ask; should windows and doors be getting cheaper? When you think about history and inflation, you generally expect prices to continue to rise. But perhaps this isn’t the case. Take a look at the supermarkets as one example. It has never been cheaper to shop in supermarkets in years as it is right now. The price wars initiated by the “Big Four” to combat the rise of Aldi and Lidl have meant shops have been under immense pressure to beat each other on price. The end result being cheaper weekly shops for the consumer. The supermarkets continue to make profit, but not as much as in previous years. This isn’t the only barometer for goods getting cheaper.
Oil is down, by a lot
At the time of writing this post, oil (according to the BBC data) is currently trading at $91.38, by far the lowest it has been for a long time. In fact it has been the rise in oil and therefore petrol and diesel prices that has been blamed on the cost of everything going up in recent years, including our own windows and doors.
Over the last few years, the glass and polymer sectors have been the two specific areas of our industry which has seen the most increases in price. It seems like every six months we are informed from our glass syscos that prices are going up due to increased transport or energy costs. But here’s my argument: oil has been dropping for a good 12 months now, why haven’t those increases caused by a rise in oil been scaled back due to the decrease in oil? Surely now petrol and diesel costs have come down, any price increase based on energy surcharges and increased transportation costs should be reversed? It’s only fair.
Of course I am being naive. Any company that has increased it’s costs is going to hold on to those increases even if what costs them comes down. That however is not fair business. Add to that sterling has been doing fairly well against the dollar, the price of glass and PVC should be coming back down.
Demand for oil decreasing
We hear a lot about things like peak oil, the point at which demand will outstrip supply. But if you keep an eye on the business news, you will know that recently both the US and Saudi Arabia have been cutting the price of oil because of a sustained decrease in demand. That is what has been causing the price of oil to drop like it has been. So is there a scenario where we might never reach peak oil?
Yes probably. There are more and more reports coming out now which state that by the year 2040 50% of the world’s energy is going to come from renewables. Click here to read a report which goes into more detail. If this report is credible, then we face the next quarter of a century of growth in wind, solar, wave and every other renewable energy out there. In theory this should then mean the demand for oil should decrease as we substitute that for cleaner forms of energy production. Again in theory, barring any world wars or natural disasters, the price of oil could continue it’s decline. I could also be wrong of course.
Cheaper windows and doors?
So let’s think about this. If the demand for oil drops due to renewable energy having a bigger presence, the price for oil should drop. Add to that expected developments in electric transport (which in theory again should be cheaper than petrol or diesel transport), general transport and production costs should start to drop. So in theory could a possible scenario be that the goods and services we pay for be cheaper, including windows and doors?
I think it could. If factories turn to renewable energy in the future, start producing their own energy, their running costs can be reduced. Transport costs could drop should oil prices drop or electric technology takes over. These are factors which determine overall what we pay for things. We can now even make the polymer we need for PVC from renewable crops. It might seem a far fetched idea, but in an age when wages aren’t rising but costs are, the possibility of investing in renewable energy and cheaper transport to reduce the cost of goods is something we should at least explore.Realistic idea or never going to happen? Will the price of oil fall over time as we look towards other energy types? Will oil companies fiddle the market to ensure we always pay a high price for their product? Will windows and doors go up or down in price over time? All comments welcome in the section below.