Date posted: 03rd December 2019
Double glazing grant schemes
Is government funding available for double-glazing?
The short answer to this is ‘no’. I’m being deliberately blunt because there is a lot of confusion about the availability of funding – some of it promoted by accident or design, by some window and door companies to drive sales.
Why you should avoid suppliers who claim to offer ‘grants’ or ‘window scrappage schemes’
At the time of writing, just ahead of the December 2020 General Election, there are no official ‘government grants’ available for new windows and doors. Politicians are making promises about what they’re going to do to transform the energy of our notoriously energy ‘leaky’ homes – some of which could have a big impact.
But for the moment we’re dealing with the here and now. There are no government grants available for double glazed windows and doors.
How the end of the Green Deal created confusion
If I’m not getting overly enthusiastic about the three main political parties pledges on green home improvements, then you’ll have to forgive me. The problem is we’ve heard it all before.
The political rhetoric that accompanied the Green Deal at its launch in 2014 for example, was that it was going to deliver the ‘biggest home improvement programme since the Second World War’
Roll forward only 18-months and it was scrapped in summer 2015 after claims it had completely failed to deliver for homeowners.
The National Audit Office reporting that, “the Green Deal design not only failed to deliver any meaningful benefit, it increased suppliers' costs”.
The problem is that so far, it hasn’t been replaced and that’s left a ‘void’, which is being filled by some window and door companies who are claiming to be able to offer homeowners access to grants.
Why are homeowners confused about energy efficiency grants for new windows and doors?
And it’s not just the demise of the Green Deal which has made things confusing for consumers. Window and door companies have capitalised on the language associated with other industries, most notably the motor industry, causing even more confusion.
The UK Government Vehicle Scrappage Scheme was introduced in 2009 and ran out in March 2010. So why is it that your local dealer is still offering scrappage discounts? It’s simply marketing. They’re a trade-in discount on price and their customers drive away with what they believe is a better deal.
That’s led to copycat schemes in the window and door industry. Prices are inflated so that they leave room to be discounted.
But things can be even more confusing for consumers.
Read the small print online
Take for example, one website Help 2 Buy Windows. It sells itself on the availability of ‘grants’ for new energy efficient windows and doors. It tells homeowners that they ‘shouldn’t have to miss out’ on energy efficient home improvements, just because they can’t afford them, and offers a ‘grant scheme’.
The altruistic language used by Hep 2 Buy, however, seems to be confusing consumers.
If this is a problem for Help 2 Buy Windows they might want to consider not using a company name which bears such a close resemblance to the Government Help to Buy Scheme, which was launched in 2010.
It was created to help first time buyers to get on the housing ladder through shared equity and which has clear association with government.
Visitors to its website just don’t seem to draw a distinction between Help 2 Buy Windows, as a commercial enterprise and a government scheme to help first time buyers purchase property!
And that’s not Help 2 Buy Windows only problem. Consumers seem to make ‘stupid’ mistakes(!) when they see terminology like ‘grant’ availability or the ‘Help 2 Buy Scheme’ for energy efficient windows and doors, positioned together online.
They keep on thinking that their site and their scheme is somehow government backed – even when Help 2 Buy Windows states at the bottom of the page (in very small print!) that: “Help 2 Buy Windows is in no way affiliated with the UK Government”.
We’d suggest that Help 2 Buy Windows might want to increase the font size of this statement, first from an accessibility point of view but also to make sure that they don’t get lots of calls from homeowners who are mistakenly expecting to be able to access a government grant?
And clearly there are lots of consumers who do find its site confusing. In fact, there’s a forum dedicated to it on ‘HotUKDeals’. Those consumers posting, suggesting that their experience has been a somewhat mixed one.
Why KJM Group doesn’t discount – or offer government grants for energy efficient doors and windows
Just to be absolutely clear, we don’t offer government grants for energy efficient windows and doors because in December 2019 and going into the beginning of 2020 – they don’t exist.
We also don’t supply any windows and doors through third party sites.
We’re committed to our customers. We’ve been working in Hampshire, Wiltshire, Surrey and Dorset for more than three decades and we’d rather trade off word of mouth recommendation.
That’s why you won’t find that our sales teams need to step outside of your home to make that ‘call to their boss’ to see if they can ‘offer you a 25% discount’. I’ll tell you now that as ‘their boss’ they can’t, because we’d rather price product sensibly at a point which allows us to make a little bit of margin – because businesses that don’t won’t be there in 10-years’ time to come out an fix a problem under guarantee.
We are also committed to a ‘No pressure promise’. We won’t be in your house at 10pm at night trying to wear you down so that you’re so exhausted you’ll simply sign whatever we put in front of you. It’s just not what we’re about.
Our sales team are not incentivised to close on the day.
First of all, as well as being close to a general election, we are also close to Christmas and despite my somewhat unseasonal ‘rant’ I’d like to wish all KJM Group customers, past, present and future, a great Christmas and Happy New Year.
However, as a closing thought, it still pays to sometimes be wary of ‘strangers bearing gifts’, whether in this case you call them energy efficient window and door grants ‘grants’ or ‘discounts’ - if something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is!
*If you’re looking for help in planning your next home improvement, or simply want to talk about any of the points raised in this discussion, please don’t hesitate to contact me or a member of the team for more by calling 01264 359355 or emailing email firstname.lastname@example.org