Well, unless you have been underground or something, you won’t have failed to notice that Christmas is almost here. From the Christmas lights in the shops, to the constant Christmas music on the radio to, of course, the snow! But that is all part of the fun. So first of all I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
And then I thought that this would also be a good time to reflect on the year that has almost gone, and think about what 2011 will mean for the window industry.
2010 has been a tough year for a number of industries, and not just in the Double Glazing industry. There was some uncertainty surrounding the General Election with both businesses and individuals waiting to see the outcome before they acted. And then the summer saw a pretty depressing performance in the World Cup, but still meant some disruption to the normal working week. Then October, saw a big change in the Window Industry with the new WER (Window Energy Ratings) scheme, and various successful industry events (Glassex,G10 show and the industry awards sponsored by FENSA .
OK, so predictions for 2011. Well, obviously, if things continue as they are now, the start of January will probably see a lot more snow, which isn’t great at all for the glazing industry. It is cold out there!
And that is not all. Obviously there is also the Government spending cuts, a lot of which are due to come in during January, or during the year, which may have an impact, particularly the increase in VAT.
But it is not all doom and gloom. There is some positive news too. The WER scheme will become more established, and prove a really useful tool for double glazing installers, and help customers improve the thermal performance of their home – saving money on energy bills and helping the environment. What is more, FENSA ourselves have been listening to our FENSA Fitters in focus groups we are holding in November and December. We will be looking at making changes in 2011 based on the feedback we have been given in these groups. And finally, with the loss of a number of consumer organisations with the Government spending cuts, it means that having a FENSA Fitter, and knowing for sure that your new windows complies with the latest building regulations, becomes more important than ever.
So what are our predictions for 2011? Well, all in all, a bit of a mixed bag. Times might be quite tough for both Fitters and the industry, but also customers. But at the same time, the work and developments that have been started in 2010, will really start to make an impact in 2011 and so there is a lot to look forward to as well!
But for now, Merry Christmas and a Happy 2011 to all of you!