I know we are all eager to learn more about the Government’s Green Homes Grant and what, if any, role the window and door industry will play. As of this afternoon, two sources have confirmed to me what they believe to be solid information about how the grant scheme will work.

Single to double

Two sources have confirmed to me that for windows, the scheme is going to focus on homes that are upgrading from single to double glazed windows. This is going to be an important distinction, and appears to show that the scheme is going to be means-tested, where the homes that need it the most get the grant first.

What this means is that double glazing to double glazing upgrades appears to be off the table. Whilst this may come as a disappointment for fenestration, what it does mean for installers is that they will be able to go to their clients and explain that the above is what is set to be announced and that they have no need to cancel orders as if they are replacing double with double they won’t apply for the scheme anyway.

It is expected that the Government will announce more detail about the scheme, including this new information, during the early part of next week.

It is also expected that the scheme will focus heavily on insulation in homes first, with other measures secondary to this.

Bad communication

The above is more or less in line with what I expected. In that there would not be a broad spectrum in which windows and doors would be included in the scheme. However the chaos and confusion of the last week or so has been the result of poor communication from the Government.

Announcing a scheme like this, without the infrastructure and information ready to go, is always a bad idea. Assumptions and misinformation are allowed to spread, which it did in this case, and we have seen reports from installers of large amounts of business being put on hold or cancelled by homeowners who think they are going to qualify for this scheme.

As it is, unless they are going from single to double or triple glazing, they won’t. Which means for any homeowner who has cancelled and was simply upgrading their existing double glazing for better double glazing has cancelled for no reason.

Some installers will have found this past week to ten days incredibly stressful. After coming back to work to high demand, being able to restore fitting schedules and bank balances, to see some of that wiped away due to poor information will have been massively frustrating. Hopefully, with more information set to be released next week, our industry will be able to communicate to the general public what the true state of play is with this scheme and advise accordingly.

As always, when more information becomes available it will be posted here on DGB.

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