Housing

Subsidy doubled for high-efficiency glass

Are you planning to make your home more energy-efficient in 2021? The Flemish government is giving you an added incentive to do it this year. Last year’s subsidy for installing low-E glass was 8 euros per m2, now it’s 16 euros per m2.

Insulating your floors, roof and external walls is always a smart idea. Sometimes we underestimate just how much energy escapes through our windows. Depending on their condition and quality, windows can be responsible for between 15% to as much as 40% of heat loss.

When windows are replaced these days, high-efficiency (or low-E) glass is the norm. There are various types of high-efficiency glass: HR, HR+, HR++ and HR+++. The last two types are preferred.

HR++ consists of two layers of glass filled with an inert gas and treated with one or more heat-reflecting coatings. This type of high-efficiency glass insulates, on average, 5 times better than single glazing and 2.5 times better than double glazing.

With HR+++ or triple glazing there is an additional layer of glass (3 layers instead of 2). This type of high-efficiency glass insulates on average 10 times better than single glazing and 5 times better than double glazing.

If you have high-efficiency glass placed in an existing house or flat, you can apply for a subsidy. For 2021, this subsidy has been doubled to 16 euros for every square metre.

What are the requirements?

  • Your house or flat must be in the Flemish Region and connected to the electricity grid prior to January 2006.
  • The work must be carried out and invoiced by a contractor.
  • The U value of the glass must be equal to or less than 1.0 W/m²K. The U value indicates how well the windows insulate. The lower the U-value, the better.

How to apply for the subsidy?

  • Request a certificate and invoice from your contractor.
  • You must submit the subsidy application no later than 12 months after the invoicing date.
  • After approval, you will receive your subsidy within 6 months.

Are there other subsidies for glazing?

If you are replacing both your home’s woodwork and glazing, the exterior woodwork may also be eligible for a Flemish renovation subsidy. This subsidy is available for homes that are at least 30 years old, and it depends on your income level, among other things.

Some municipalities and provinces also offer subsidies for high-efficiency glass. Use the Flemish energy subsidy finder to check if you are eligible.

How much does high-efficiency glazing cost?

You will pay around 85–95 euros per m² for HR++, and 150–185 euros per m² for HR+++ (excluding installation). It's a hefty investment, but it pays off over time.

  • If you were to replace 1 square metre of single glazing with high-efficiency glass (HR++), you would save around 25 litres of fuel oil or 23 m3 of natural gas per year.
  • Not only will you be significantly reducing your heating costs, you will also be enhancing your living comfort. When the temperature outdoors is 0 °C and the temperature indoors is 20 °C, the temperature on the inside of:

- single glazing: 5.6 °C

- double glazing: 12.8 °C

- HR++: 17.3 °C

- HR+++: 18.5 °C

  • If you are planning to sell or rent your house at some time in future, you can also use its energy efficiency to justify asking for a higher (rental) price. And in the short term, you will be rewarded with (a) nice subsidy/ies.
  • Finally, it is also important to know that the Flemish government has imposed legal requirements. Since 2020, the windows of all living areas, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom must have double glazing. In a house inspection, an inspector may award penalty points for non-compliance. The government can declare properties having 15 or more penalty points to be unfit for occupation.

Taking out a loan for energy-efficient renovation?

Energy-efficient renovation is a good thing. That is why you can apply for a green renovation loan for energy-efficient home improvement projects. It is a lot cheaper than a normal renovation loan.

Are you house hunting? Or would you like to get an idea of the total cost of your project? We would be happy to help you make your dream come true.