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With the Australian Energy Market Operator warning there’s a 43 per cent chance Victorian homes will experience black outs this summer, Managing Director of Ecostar Double Glazing Craig Johnson says if Australians embrace uPVC double glazing they won’t need to use air conditioning excessively and subsequent energy failures won’t happen.
“It’s a well-known fact that 30 per cent of energy is lost from your home through windows and doors,” Johnson says.
“If your home’s windows and doors are double glazed, you retain energy and in doing so cut down the need for air conditioning. This means your home will be cooler in summer and warmer in winter, and you’ll also enjoy the benefit of reduced energy bills.”
Johnson, who features on Foxtel’s Industry Leaders* on October 3, says that double glazing is growing in popularity in Australia but still has a long way to go to catch up on its European counterparts. He’s hopeful that a “demand management” strategy rolled out by the Australian Energy Market Operator and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, that offers discounts to energy customers who reduce their consumption, will prompt environmentally conscious Aussies to take action. Details of the scheme are expected to be announced in late October.
As reported in The Australian newspaper, the nation’s peak energy regulator, the Australian Energy Market Operator has warned of an immediate shortage of power this summer and a longer-term threat from 2022 if NSW’s Liddell power plant shuts down as planned.
“With increasing energy costs and our reliance on non-renewable energies, the most important thing we do every day is educate Australians that they need this product. uPVC was introduced in Germany in 1947. By the time it reached the UK in the 1980s it already had 90 per cent market penetration in domestic homes in Germany. The UK quickly followed. Australia is probably the last developed country in the world where uPVC isn’t standard. The industry here is in its infancy. Our belief is that in 10 years’ time, most homes will be double glazed.”
Johnson revealed that Northcote in Melbourne was the suburb most willing to upgrade their windows and doors for environmental reasons.
“We’ve worked in a lot of homes in Northcote and find that residents there really care about the environment. That’s their main motivation for replacing their windows, to reduce their carbon footprint. In general, we find that Australians are more environmentally conscious than the UK so it’s our job to educate them on how they can make their homes as energy efficient as possible.”
Ecostar’s UK business is more than 40 years old, the Melbourne arm of the business was established in 2011. Having started with just two staff in a small office in Thomastown, the company now occupies a purpose built 200 square metre customer service depot in Kilsyth and employs more than 70 Australians.
“We manufacture and install the highest quality most energy efficient double-glazed window and door range in Australia,” says Johnson. “Windows and doors are rated on U value. So the lower the U value the better the product. For example, a double brick wall would have a U value of around 0.8. The standard U value of windows here in Australia is around 10.0 Ecostar has the lowest certified rating in the country – 1.2 – so almost as energy efficient as a wall.
“We’re the only Melbourne company that has a product scientifically tested to deal with the climate here. Our testing shows that the standard European product will become brittle over a number of years whereas our product is created to last more than 40 years.”
*Foxtel Industry Leaders featuring Craig Johnson aired on FOXTEL Channel 173 October 3 at 8pm and was repeated on Wednesday October 4 at 3pm and Sunday October 8 at 3pm.