Two-thirds of homeowners plan to make their homes more sustainable in the next ten years, according to NatWest. We talk to Deceuninck’s Managing Director Rob McGlennon about where windows fit in.

NatWest published its ‘Greener Homes Attitude Tracker’ in July this year, which summarised homeowners’ sustainable home improvement ambitions during Q2 2023.

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At a headline level, 66% of the 1,500 homeowners surveyed intend to ‘make improvements to the environmental sustainability of their main property in the next ten years’, and 22% intend to do this in the next 12 months. Apart from a slight dip between Q3 2022 and Q1 2023, this sentiment has followed a continued upward trajectory since the report began in Q2 2021, when it was 54% and 14% respectively.

“Legislation continues to drive the energy efficiency of building products in the UK, but the latest report from NatWest clearly demonstrates that there is a significant pull factor from homeowners as well,” Deceuninck’s Managing Director Rob McGlennon says.

“Looking closely at the results, 40% of homeowners looking to buy a home in the next ten years say that the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating was a ‘very important’ factor to consider. This puts it above ‘access to public transport’, ‘proximity to schools’, and on a par with the ‘amount of local green space’.”

When asked if they planning to install certain measures within the next 10 years, survey respondents were more likely to say ‘double glazing windows’ than any other energy saving/sustainable measure.

Interestingly, approximately twice as many people were planning to install triple glazing than double glazing in the next ten years (although double glazing was significantly more likely to have already been installed in respondents’ homes).

Double glazing also tops the list of preferred environmental features already installed when looking to buy a new property, and triple glazing is more important than other features such as solar panels, electric car charging point and rainwater harvesting system.

“Heat pumps get all the column inches in the consumer press when energy efficiency is discussed, but in the real world, they come close to the bottom of the list of popular energy efficiency measures,” Rob says. “Together, double and triple glazing hands-down rank higher than all other measures.

“It also means that if you are selling windows and doors, can you afford not to consider energy efficiency and sustainability as part of your marketing strategy? This report from NatWest not only proves that homeowners rate a property’s energy efficiency when choosing a new home, but that they will likely use glazing to improve the home’s thermal performance when the time comes.”

Deceuninck is supporting its customers to take the energy efficiency message to the homeowner and to maximise opportunities from the current demand for more energy-efficient products, through its Energy Calculator.

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Available to Deceuninck customers as a website plugin, it powerfully demonstrates how replacing old windows can save homeowners money while reducing their carbon footprint.

According to the Energy Calculator, owners of a detached house on mains gas will save just over £18K in ten years if they upgrade from single-glazed wooden windows to triple-glazed Heritage 2800 from Deceuninck. They will also save almost 28 tons on emitted carbon.

Even replacing existing PVC-U double-glazed windows with Traditional 2500 double-glazed windows from Deceuninck in a similar property will save the homeowner more than £6,500 over ten years, and more than 10 tons of carbon.

Deceuninck supports this with a strong sustainability message, underpinned by winning the G-Award for Sustainability Initiative of the Year in 2022.

The systems company has invested heavily in Europe’s most advanced recycling and compounding facilities. A new multi-million-pound site in Belgium gives Deceuninck the capability to reprocess up to

45,000 tonnes of post-consumer and post-manufacturing PVC-U per year, which is the equivalent of preventing three million windows from going to landfill annually. Use of recycled material also reduces CO2 emissions by 90,000 tonnes when compared to virgin feedstocks, as well as a 90% energy saving.

Deceuninck has also committed to cut CO2 emissions from its own operations 60% by 2030 from a 2021 baseline, and cut emissions from within its supply chain by 48% per tonne by 2030, as part of its wider journey to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“Homeowners are increasingly in tune with sustainability, especially when driven by the money saving benefits of energy efficiency,” Rob says. “Having the suppliers and tools at your fingertips is vital to make the most of the opportunities this presents, which is why we are investing in product design, manufacture and distribution, alongside key marketing tools.”

Download a copy of the report here:

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