The Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme, or DGCOS recently commissioned a survey by Opinion Research , and this revealed that over 61% of homeowners now see reducing energy bills as the most important reason for replacing their doors and windows
This indicates a radical change in the priorities of consumers. When similar surveys have been held over the past 3 decades, the usual reasons given for installing double glazing were to improve the look or comfort of their homes, or as an improvement to their security.
Now energy-saving is way ahead of the field, with the second most popular reason now trailing 18% behind. This is the 43% who say that making a more comfortable home is their top reason. In third place is making the home look better with 42%. The headlines all summer have been about soaring energy prices and this may well have prompted homeowners for making energy saving now their main reason for getting double glazing.
Tony Pickup (DGCOS Founder) says “Energy-saving used to be an accidental by-product of installing new windows and doors; it wasn’t even on the radar but suddenly it’s front of mind because of rocketing energy bills this summer: gas prices rose 22% and electricity prices rose 12%. People living in outlying areas are particularly hard-hit and almost being held to ransom by a price hike of 28% in heating oils since last September, so homeowners have grasped an important message that more energy-efficient windows and doors will help them cut fuel bills.”
In response to continuing consumer misery highlighted in TV programmes such as Rogue Traders and Cowboy Builders, Tony Pickup founded The Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme (DGCOS) to help the industry clean up its image. DGCOS provides the most comprehensive consumer protection cover in the home improvement industry and has over 200 members nationwide who install double glazing products, conservatories, doors, porches, fascias, soffits, roofline products and orangeries.
The organisation’s ambassador is TV presenter and consumer champion Ross who fronted BBC Watchdog and Crimewatch for many years.
Tony observes “Even when energy price rises headlines fade, the need to reduce fuel bills long term remains strong because of the recession and squeezed incomes because even more energy price rises are expected.”
But before signing contracts with an installer, Tony recommends homeowners do their research into the strength of consumer protection being offered. He says ‘There are numerous trade bodies and organisations offering very different levels of consumer protection. You have to read the small print or, for genuine peace of mind, use DGCOS members who automatically offer full deposit protection and Insurance Backed Guarantees.”
Under DGCOS, in the unlikely event that an installer goes into liquidation or ceases trading, consumers are still protected unlike other schemes which may leave consumers stranded. DGCOS also provides a completely free dispute resolution service, whereas other schemes may charge for these services. Most importantly, the DGCOS Ombudsman has the authority to adjudicate and make legally binding awards backed up by a Compensation Fund so consumers are comprehensively protected.
Tony’s parting shot is ‘If you invest in new energy-efficient double glazing, you not only insulate your home but you future-proof your wallet against energy price increases as well! And if you use a DGCOS member, you are guaranteed a job completed to the highest levels of customer satisfaction!”
The online Omnibus survey of 2,014 nationally representative UK adults over 18 was carried out between 27th and 30th September 2011. Of these, 1,224 or 61% were homeowners.