Will Double Glazing Prices Get Cheap?
Earlier this year (in Feb 2016), The Glass & Glazing Federation (GGF) sent a response to the UK tax man about “Changes to the reduced rate of VAT for Energy Saving Materials”.
What they are basically saying (The GGF) is that as double glazed windows & doors save energy, they should be rated at a lower VAT charge of 5%. If, and it’s a very long shot, the UK government does what the GGF says it’s supposed to do that would mean a decent drop in the cost of new windows & doors for the British consumer.
Responding on the behalf of members, they put forward the case that modern products actually meet the description of a particular EU (European Union) directive
“provision, construction, renovation and alteration of housing, as part of a social policy”
and therefore should be included in the lower VAT rate band.
Citing the potential for growth in the industry, the GGF came up with some numbers:
- The main reason for consumers buying new windows & doors is energy saving (43% said so)
- Estimated 20% increase in business if VAT goes down to 5%
- 85% of homeowners surveyed said they wanted energy efficient windows & doors
Sensibly, they also looked at guidance & training for the sector, as one can only imagine the many double glazing sales rep’s glee at the prospect of homeowners paying less and themselves selling more!
The GGF don’t seem to be alone in their fight, as others in the building industry would also benefit from being bracketed in a lower VAT rate (it’s been 5% for solar panels for some years). There could be some news mid-year, but any changes would be only be seen in the Autumn production of the Finance Act.
In my experience, the government don’t like losing revenue, so whilst there is a chance of the Vat rate being reduced, I think it’s a small one.