Energy Efficient Commercial Solutions
Every one of us, individually and as organisations, has a responsibility to conserve energy. Due to our knowledge and experience in these matters, Walker Adamson feels a particular responsibility to help our customers to save energy and money, whilst minimising the impact on the environment.
With this in mind, many companies are now reviewing their energy requirements, and we are pleased to advise our customers on various ways this can be done. Some of these include:
- Ensuring buildings are adequately insulated and sealed.
- Installing modern energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems.
- Installing energy saving equipment such as de-stratification fans and energy saving controls.
- Regular maintenance of equipment to ensure it is working to the optimum efficiency.
- The use of plastic strip curtains and fast closing doors in factory loading bays.
- Adopting a common sense policy for all staff towards energy use, such as turning off lights in unused rooms, closing doors, minimizing water usage, etc.
- Sensible temperature control. Reducing the room thermostat setting on a heating system by just 1 °C can reduce running costs by up to 10%.
Global Warming Overview
Global warming is a real threat to our world and requires imminent action on a global scale. The impact of increased greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere will vary greatly across the world, with some areas subject to rising sea levels and flooding, whilst other regions may suffer water shortages and famine.
In 1995 the ICPP, a group of 2000 of the world’s leading scientists, concluded that “the balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate.” The report cited the most likely cause being the burning of coal, oil and gas increasing the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
In response to these findings, representatives from 142 developed nations gathered in 1997 to form the Kyoto Protocol, which required these nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions to below the 1990 level by 2012.
Costs to UK Businesses
Climate Change Levy
In April 2001 our Government introduced the Climate Change Levy (CCL), an additional tax on business use of fuel (electricity, coal, gas) consumed in energy production and use. Its purpose was to create a real incentive to reduce energy consumption.
Increased Fuel Costs
On top pf the above CCL, we have seen energy prices rise dramatically over the past few years and this looks set to continue with gas prices, for example, expected to rise by around 17% in 2007.
Potential Cost Savings for UK Businesses
Installation of Energy Efficient Products
Over recent years manufacturers have developed and introduced a range of high efficiency ECA approved products, such as:
- High efficiency industrial heaters and condensing boilers at over 92% efficiency.
- Energy efficient variable speed pumps and motors.
- High efficiency “inverter” type air conditioning units.
- Optimisation controls designed to reduce fuel consumption and running costs.
- De-stratification fans to re-circulate rising warm air in commercial premises.
Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) Scheme
As part of the initiative that included the Climate Control Levy and a tightening of Building Regulations, The Government has introduced the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) Scheme. This is a “tax incentive” scheme for businesses to encourage the installation of energy efficient products.
- Businesses can claim back 100% capital allowances on investments in energy saving products and their associated installation costs.
- Businesses can write off the whole cost of their investment against their taxable profits of the period during which they make the investment, as opposed to writing off 25% per year for depreciation, as the Inland Revenue would normally do.
Full details, complete with approved product lists, can be found on the Government website http://www.eca.gov.uk/