An alarming statistic revealed in a report jointly published by the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) and British Glass indicates that 80 million home windows need to be replaced if the UK hopes to meet the government’s net-zero targets.

A GGF press release says the report, titled ‘A Window of Opportunity,’ is among the most extensive in the glazing industry to date, publishing results from research on heat loss in homes and the contribution that modern windows can make to keeping them warm.

When it comes to heat loss in a home, the UK currently has the least efficient housing stock in Western Europe, according to the report, and has seen one of the worst carbon reductions of all sectors since 1990.

The report demonstrates that replacing older double-glazed windows with new windows that meet current standards can reduce heat loss in an already insulated home by half, from 44% to 22%.

Other figures that are certain to shock millions of homeowners are:

  • Double glazing installed pre-2002 is in approximately 23% of the UK’s current housing stock and is 50% less energy efficient than new windows to current standards;
  • 22% heat saving could be achieved in properties that have already been insulated to best practice if pre-2002 windows are replaced;
    Homes fitted with new windows to current standards could see a saving of up to £395 per year;
  • 24% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from the residential sector; and
  • Replacing pre-2002 double glazing with new double glazing to current standards is the equivalent of taking 1.88 million cars off the road.

“We are in continuous discussion with the government about net-zero targets and the positive contribution that would be made if older double-glazed windows were to be replaced. As the government looks to achieve net zero, it is clear homeowners and our industry have a vital role to play,” said Chris Beedel, head of advocacy at GGF. “The residential sector currently contributes almost a quarter of the entire country’s carbon emissions. This needs to change – reducing emissions from households, and therefore improving glazing, is crucial in helping reach net zero.”

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