Boost for Energy Saving Products in the EU

The introduction in June this year of Energy Performance Certificates, as part of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, is set to revolutionise the way homes are bought, sold and rented in the UK. It has strong implications for the specification of energy-saving products including energy efficient glazing, such as Pilkington K Glass™.

Energy Performance Certificates, which will rate the energy performance of each property on a scale of A to G, will also highlight to potential buyers how they can improve the home's energy efficiency and save on energy bills.

The glazing industry already uses a similar rating system for windows; Window Energy Ratings (WERs) give consumers the opportunity to make informed decisions about the type of windows installed in their home.

In many cases, replacing old inefficient glazing with energy efficient glazing will be high on the list of improvements. Their relative ease of installation, coupled with the potential energy savings to be made, means that the industry has a unique opportunity to capitalise on the legislation when it comes in to force later in the year. Around 20 per cent of the heat in a house can be lost though single glazed windows. By fitting new double glazing, such as insulating glass units containing Pilkington K Glass™, this loss could be cut by half, resulting in a saving of up to £100 a year on the energy bills of an average three-bedroom home.

Rick Wilberforce, Market Development Manager for Pilkington, said: “June is a crucial time for the industry and we must capitalise on this. By giving consumers more information on the average running costs for heating, hot water and lighting in the home and how to cut these costs with energy efficiency measures, we are hopeful that energy performance certificates will lead to a significant step up in the energy efficiency of homes in the UK.”

As part of an Insulating Glass Unit (IGU), Pilkington K Glass™, a low emissivity coated glass, reflects heat back into the property whilst also letting in free heat from the sun. Pilkington K Glass™ helps windows to achieve high WERs to demonstrate compliance with energy saving Building Regulations Part L, and is recognised by the Energy Saving Trust as a significantly effective measure for achieving energy efficiency hence savings on fuel bills.

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, when fully effective, is expected to deliver savings of 45 million tonnes of CO2 a year, a significant part of the EU's Kyoto commitment.

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