Well there is no other news in the world right now, so it makes sense to go with it. Leaving the EU will have implications of all kinds on all areas of the UK, including the window and door industry, so with this post I aim to try and explore a few of the areas that could see change in the coming years.
No pan-Euro WER certificate
It was the intention of the EU to introduce a pan-European WER certificate. This new label would replace ours, and all other individual nation’s certificate in favour of this one.
If you go back and read my thoughts on the matter, I wasn’t a fan of the idea. Under the new plan, our windows would have to be recalculated and the thinking was that once recalculated our ratings would be downgraded. It would have meant A rated windows could be reduced to B rated window for example. Can’t think installers and fabricators would have been too pleased with that outcome.
It would have also cost us money as an industry. These things always do. Perhaps in a time of uncertainty, any saved money is a good thing.
So, now we’re leaving the EU, this idea is off the table for us. It remains to be seen if this project is put on the back burner, given the amount of reform the EU needs to undertake now.
It has long been a frustration of the window and door industry that energy efficient windows have been excluded from the 5% VAT band that other energy efficient home improvement products get.
Boilers, solar panels, insulation and so on get that luxury. Windows and doors however do not. I was told not so long ago that even if the UK government did want to reduce the VAT we pay to 5%, it couldn’t because of EU rules.
However, as we are leaving, that could open the door up to our industry pushing for a change in legislation to allow the reduction. Although this would bring a drop in revenues initially, I believe the demand it would generate would more than cover the drop. I think the general public would really buy into the idea.
It was only a short time ago that CE Marking was introduced for window and door products, with the label replacing the much loved and respected British Kitemark.
I remember the uproar and stress CE Marking brought to the industry. It was implemented by the EU and it was something we had to comply with. It also cost installers and fabricators a lot of money as each singular product had to have it’s own certificates and Declaration of Performance paperwork. And what has it done since? I haven’t come across a single home owner that has bothered to ask about it. It not increased leads or boosted sales.
So, as we prepare the leave the EU, is CE Marking something we are going to keep or will be return back to the British Kitemark? I suspect that nostalgic home owners wouldn’t mind going back to it. And perhaps some installers to. But, after the effort it took to get us to this point, we may not have the appetite to go back. Also, it is not known from a legislative point of view if this is even possible.
These are just three areas of our industry that could be impacted by the UK leaving the EU, and I’m sure there are going to be many more consequences to come as the dust continues to settle.
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