Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CASE STUDY - Save With UK Government Incentives For Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy ImagesImage by KVL photographer via Flickr

Save With UK Government Incentives For Renewable Energy by Frances Van Den Berg

As part of a world initiative to reduce our carbon footprint, the UK government is investing billions in schemes to encourage consumers and businesses to use renewable energy sources rather than rely on coal and oil for power. What this means for everybody in Britain is that they can save money and energy by taking advantage of generous government tax rebates, zero interest loans and pay outs for investment in alternative energy.

The Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme provides a 100% tax rebate on any investment in energy saving equipment. In addition to ECA's incentive scheme, the Carbon Trust provides loans for energy efficiency and has increased the size of its available loans from £100,000 to £200,000 per loan in recent months.

The Climate Change Levy is an energy incentive for businesses. Electricity generated from renewable energy sources is not taxed, while there is always a tax imposed on energy from electricity, coal and gas sources.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) cost the landowners a small amount of money up front and they are compulsory, but highly efficient buildings are more likely to find interested buyers and renters than buildings heavy on electricity.

The British government has also promised motorists £5,000 if they switch to electrical cars to encourage greener living. Government believes that this will make the electric cars affordable to buyers and speed up the changeover from petrol and diesel cars to electrical cars. The first models of affordable electrical cars should hit the market in two years time.

The UK budget is also offering businesses £1.4 billion in incentives to encourage investment in green energy. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling has committed to a UK target to cut gas emissions by 34 percent in ten years. The UK is also the first country to agree to a green energy plan for the next 40 years. The incentive will be used to encourage companies to invest in renewable energy such as wind power and low carbon manufacturing and is also intended as a job creation project.

The British Government is going all out to encourage change in the arena of greener living. What is worrying is that most businesses and individuals are unaware of the new policies and incentive schemes despite the fact that many UK citizens have expressed a wish to cut their energy bills. In addition to government incentives, environmental NGOs are offering their own incentives for investing in technologies to make use of renewable energy. Visit the Energy Saving Trust's website for advice and assistant on energy saving grants and technology.

Frances wrote this article for National Energy Consultants.

Commercial EPC services provided by NEC, specialists in providing energy performance certification at competitive fees.

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