Monthly Archives: April 2012

Barker now admits Green Deal “wont guarantee savings for homeowners”

thermostat

According to a report in Energy Live News, Gregg Barker the minister promoting DECCs Green Deal policy, has now admitted that savings cannot be guaranteed. Originally his comments were that “savings will be equal to or more than, the cost of the work”, but this now seems a distant memory.

But this is what industry has been telling him for months!

In privately owned property, we pay for the energy we consume, we will find the most competitive way to install those energy saving devices we believe will make a difference to our homes. In other words it is in our interested (as bill payers) to reduce our costs of energy. We don’t need to be forced to make improvements we don’t want like the consequential improvement idea that has thankfully now been scrapped

The problem is that many will find the improvements means that they can enjoy increased warmth at a reduced cost, instead of reducing consumption (and make savings) some people will enjoy being 20% warmer, at the same costs.

None of us like having 10 layers of clothes to keep warm, it restricts movement, we much prefer to to shed a layer of clothes as the temperature increases. Green Deal will change habits, people will remove their jumpers and just wear T shirts and shorts…….but consume the same amount of energy!

Where is the energy efficiency in that?

And has anyone looked at the cost to provide Green Deal windows?

Double glazing companies can today provide very energy efficient windows, A,B or C rated. Consumers don’t need Green Deal to install them, they exist already and have done R’s in 2005. Bear in mind that an A rated window is ENERGY NEUTRAL, it gains as much heat during the spring and Autumn (when the sun is low in the sky) as it loses during the winter months.

But Green Deal (in its current form) is set to destroy the industry.

Imagine the process; you want new windows, you must pay for an EPC (even if they are free someone somewhere pays for it), then there’s the legal fees because the debt is being attached to the house, then there is the provision of the finance. The government has insisted that interest is not interest free, commercial rates will apply, so that easily 5/6/7% over base rates that are set to rise in the next few years. Oh yes, the property needs to be reinspected to ensure the work has been done correctly and you wont have a contract with the installer because the Green Deal PROVIDER takes care of the warranty issues. Scary or what!

The alternative (that already exists) is that you obtain 3 or 4 quotations from local companies of your chosing, they provide their best prices to supply and install the identical, A, B or C rated windows and you either clear the debt upon completion or via a bank loan, or credit agreement. Simples!

You choose the company, the products, the extras. You agree the timetable, the costs and the method of finance. You make the savings as you control the thermostat and if the next owner of your house dislikes your choice of windows, they can change them to suit theirs. No long term issues, no quangos, no bureaucracy, no jobs for the boys or cleaver manipulation of the accounts so that debts are held against the property!

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7 day cancellation period, read the small print!

conservatory with sofa

It was reported on a forum by a most unhappy customer, that one of the “nationals” small print may be catching people out. According to the report, the sales person said, “buy now you have 14 days to cancel”, only the small print stated that if they cancelled after 7 days (but before 14 days) then they were liable for 25% of the contracted price!

We have no evidence of this ourselves and it is a report from another forum site, so we wont publish names here.

Actually the company may be acting correctly. Under the Sale of Goods Act, purchases made in the home are covered by a 7 day cooling off period, (it is however 14 days under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 if a credit agreement is entered into) but why make a charge if its after 7 days?

Don’t forget, make the contract “Time is of the Essence”. Most companies agree to provide products “within a reasonable time”, but rarely spell out just what they mean.

If however you made it clear at the time of order and on the contract that the only reason you purchased the goods, was because the company agreed they could provide the goods and services you required by a specific date, like an anniversary, birthday or Xmas etc, then you will have strong grounds to cancel.

Which have a good reference section here for more information

 

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MyTrade TV channel launched today.

window fitters

Lee Clarke has started a brand new venture called “My Trade TV Ltd” where companies can post videos of their products for all to see. Along similar lines of YouTube but dedicated to the door and window industry.

Whilst the first section to go live is for lock smiths the doors and windows section is due to go live on May 21st. This could be yet another great way to communicate with a wider target audience so we wholly recommend a visit.

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Everest on “Watchdog”, Anglian on “Dont Get Done”, WHICH find most consumers prefer local independent companies!

tick boxes

With Everest’s installations featuring on Anne Robinson’s Watchdog series a couple of weeks ago, it seems this week it is the turn of Anglian Home Improvements to feature on the BBC’s, “Don’t Get Done Get Dom“.

According to the advanced information, tomorrows edition (11am BBC 1 or i-player here)

Dom comes to the aid of two ladies at loggerheads with their double glazing installer. It is three years down the line and still the job is not finished but the company refuses to complete the works until the women pay up! Dom investigates customers’ rights when it comes to dealing with double glazing salesmen and the complex world of finance deals used to entice the customer.

WHICH readers meanwhile will be able to read in the May publication, that local double glazing companies top their table. 83% of the 2,562 members who were asked to comment, gave 5 stars smaller, local double glazing companies, compare with the nationals of Everest, Anglian, Safestyle and Zenith Staybright who’s scores ranged between 58/63%

So are the companies in the industry seen by consurmers as good or bad?

Well, WHICH say

The double glazing industry does surprisingly well, when comapring the overall customer satisfaction score with that of other sectors. At 80% it has one of the highest scores of all sectors that Which, measures.

This sucess however is bdue to the happiness of people using small local companies. If only the big four were scored, it drops to just 60% bringing them alongside car hire firms, airports and supermarkets.

Our experience is similar. The vast majority of the reviews on double glazing companies we have received are from happy consumers who have used local companies, because they tend to look after their local reputation more then the nationals.

All this suggests that So perhaps consumers

You can get your copy of the May Which report once you become a member, heres a link

 

 

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The Glazing Ombudsman gets BIOA approval

t-g-o-wp-logo

The newly formed TGO, The Glazing Ombudsman set up to offer a low cost, independent service to installation companies across the land and to customers who use the services of TGO members, has just been recognised by BIOA, the British and Irish Ombudsman Association the governing body of Ombudsman schemes.

As we have said previously although products need to be appropriate and compliant with building regulations, the industry is not regulated as say mortgage brokers or insurance companies, therefore there isn’t a mandatory Ombudsman appointed by the government.

This means there are business opportunities for companies to offer, Ombudsman services. These need to be independent people or companies (its no good having members dictate to their ombudsman, how he/she/they should resolve an issue) so that consumers feel they can get a fair hearing, should they take a case to the Ombudsman.

There are at present two Ombudsman organisations in the double glazing industry.

The first was DGCOS who run a scheme for their members, requiring all members to sell or give IBG’s and register every job with their insurers. This company has Nick Ross as its promoter. It is fair to say that DGCOS have helped raise awareness within the industry and within the wider public, so that consumers can feel better protected.

Whilst TGO was only recently established, it has been supported by many of the larger companies, notably Anglian Windows, Zenith Staybright and Tesco (via Job Worth Doing) so hopefully, many more retail customers will now be covered and able to obtain the views of an ombudsman should they need to.

As always, retail customers must ensure that companies do indeed belong to these organisations so chacking web site and listings will hopefully avoid being duped.

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Anglian sign up to be a Green Deal Provider

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Anglian Home Improvements have taken the plunge to become a Green Deal Provider in their own right becoming the first double glazing company to sign up as a “Green Deal Provider”. They have various obligations and DECC have produced a pdf guide for providers here.

This means they will be able to offer customers all the energy savings advice they need, the finance and grants to fulfill the obligations direct, rather than rely upon the vageries offered and terms dictated to them, by the large Energy companies etc.

Make no mistake, this will change the way people buy windows, doors and double glazing.

How will a smaller company compete? Anglian are hardly likely to recommend a different company so if you are an installer, how will you compete against Anglian when Green Deal becomes official in October?

With Tesco linked to Job Worth Doing, Anglian being a provider and Everest hungry for business under their new ownership, just how much business will they now extract from the industry and what will you offer retail customers against this threat, price?

As an installer,if you haven’t engaged with the green deal debate, perhaps you will now. Start thinking just how your business will fair in the not too distant future!

Here is the list we believe of the current providers

Ampere GDP

Anglian Home Improvements

BritishEco

British Gas

CarbonLow Group

Carillion

Empower Community

Enact Energy

E.ON

Gentoo Group

Grafton Group

Insta Group

Keepmoat

Kingfisher

Mark Group

ReEnergise Finance

SIG plc

SSE

Stroma

Toriga Energy

Willmott Dixon Energy Services

Yorkshire Energy Services

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Tesco ends its car partnership

price of double glazing

According to “Business for sale” Tesco the retail giant has decided to abandon the venture it had with Auto Online and Carsite, which traded as Tesco Cars.

According to the Tescocars.com web site, (which is now redirecting traffic to www.tesco.com/cars) they say they are now closed for new car sales. Their web site confirms that

We started Tesco Cars in good faith and we always aim to do a good job for customers. However, following a review of the business model we and Carsite, our partner, have decided that we cannot offer customers a satisfactory range of vehicles and as a result, have decided it is right to close the business.

It would appear on the Q&A section that customers, having bought a car, still have their rights as sold, ie Tesco will still refund cars within their 7 day period etc however warranties are being dealt with by “The Warranty Group” not Tescos themselves.

Obviously Tesco felt this venture was not for them and have ended their venture with these two firms. Whilst it probably makes excellent business sense for Tesco profits, how are customers affected by the decision? If you bought a car, how do you feel about this decision?

More over, how can any consumer be certain that Tesco doesn’t decide to end any relationship it has with it’s partners, outside of its core grocery division?

Should retail customers be concerned that the same could happen with their chosen partner who trades as Tesco Windows and Doors?

Will, “The Warranty Group” pick up those guaranties too or will customers have to rely upon their partners  “Job Worth Doing” guarantees?

What do you think?

Anyone having difficulties with Tesco cars should phone 800 072 3627

 

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Plans for “Consquential Improvements” scrapped?

conservatory

According to “sources close to Downing Street” the BBC say that proposals for green improvements will not happen. They report that the additional burden being placed upon homeowners, who wish to invest in energy efficient products or conservatories, will no longer carry the 10% surcharge or addition improvements that were floated in the consultation.

Whilst Patrick Wintour of the Guardian reports that David Cameron has intervened to scrap mandatory elements of green deal for homes.

This has to be sensible.

Why should a consumer, who is ready to invest significant costs in energy efficient, products or improvements, be forced to include extra measures. It is bonkers and will simply deter the few homeowners who are ready to make that investment in the first place!

If these reports are true then why not scrap the Green Deal too, because as written in the consultation, that’s unworkable for the double glazing industry too!

 

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Grafton Group first provider to sign up to Green Deal

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Julian Milnes reports today in Heating & Ventilation news that the Grafton Group have today become on of the first to become a green deal provider. Grafton have Buildbase, Plumbase, Selco and Jackson Building Centres in their group.

Clearly there are some who think green deal is worth investing in but there are strong feelings that this will be a disaster amongst MP’s.

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Will the green deal save homeowners money?

thermostat

The Guardian newspapers Leo Hickman has an interesting article and asks this very question, “Will the green deal save homeowners money?”

His colum has many interesting comments and commentators and is well worth reading, we’ve sent him our observations along the following lines, you see, we believe Green Deal as proposed in the consultation is immoral, the government misguided and there’s a massive mis-selling scandal about to unfold.

Here’s why; (more…)

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