Eco Windows, Energy Bills and the Environment
Are you interested in helping the environment and saving money at the same time? Eco window installations can save homeowners money on their energy bills, as well as help reduce their impact on the environment. This blog post will explore how eco window installation can make a difference in your home today!
The Eco Window impact on the environment
Many people look at upgrading their windows to more environmentally friendly units because they are concerned about how their lifestyle affects the environment. We over here at Gowercroft totally agree – we’ve spent a lot of time and money on making our workshop as environmentally friendly as possible, including installing two biomass-fuelled heating systems and sending our shavings for highly efficient reuse.
We’ve even commissioned a life cycle assessment study with Derby University so we can find out just how detrimental or otherwise our products are to the environment. This comprehensive study looked in detail at our own products, timber windows by other manufacturers and also Aluminium and uPVC windows.
We were happy to find out that our Classic range of timber-framed windows had a positive impact on the environment over a cradle to grave assessment. The other products in this independent study were not so kind to the planet, although direct comparisons are a little difficult to draw – you can read the full study here.
So, now we’ve established that our production process is on track to help reduce climate change, what next? Well, let’s assume that you decide to fit the best eco window installation from our Frontier Range – how does this affect your day-to-day life?
It’s obvious that having better insulated windows will have 2 effects on your home:
- Warmer rooms
- Lower heating bills
It could also be mentioned that another advantage of an eco window installation is that your rooms will have less intrusive outside noise – especially if you use vacuum glass.
What if you improved insulation on your whole house?
One big problem with houses in the UK is that our houses are either:
- Old, draughty and poorly insulated
- New and poorly insulated
It must be said that we are woefully behind our continental neighbours in regard to improving the insulation of our homes. Homes in Scandinavia are built to be warm and comfortable with the bare minimum of energy being used to create heat. In this country, it seems we spend most of our heating bills on warming up the garden, our homes are so poorly insulated.
Of course, there are many things we can do to improve the situation, even on draughty old Victorian homes. Lofts and walls can be better insulated. Internal doors can be draught proofed. We will never achieve passive house standards where the whole house can be heated by a single light bulb, but do we really think that doing nothing is an option?
What if you also upgraded your heating system?
By replacing your old gas fired heating system with an air source or ground source heat pump you could save a great deal of money and emissions. These systems are not cheap (we hope that as time goes on they will become more affordable), but there is help available from the Government in the form of the current Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI). This excellent scheme has not seen the take up the government expected and will be replaced with the Replacement Boiler Scheme.
The Renewable Heating Incentive would reimburse the homeowner for installing renewable energy systems such as heat pumps of biomass incinerators with a quarterly payment over 7 years. The payments were set by energy usage tariffs and would eventually pay the user back the difference of installing a renewable energy system over a conventional system.
We can assume that the initial expense of installing the renewable energy systems put a lot of people off, so this has been scrapped in favour of a simpler one-off up-front payment of £5000. The grant only covers heat pumps, and crucially (as with the RHI) there must be certification that the home is properly insulated.
So now we have a correctly insulated home, with super-efficient windows and a heating system that converts electricity into heat at a 400% efficiency rate. Whilst this set up may not conform to the ultimate goal of Passive House performance, it’s possible that that your energy usage could be reduced by anything up to 75%.
So the use of an eco window makes a contribution to the overall efficiency of your home when certain other upgrades are made – but it cannot be denied that a significant energy saving can only be a good thing for the future of the planet, and your finances!