Are you eligible for tax relief for your research and development into green technologies? Sustainable Footprints, together with their partner, R&D Tax North West, are keen to ensure that businesses across the UK are aware of this benefit and take advantage of the opportunity to claim back up to 24% of their eligible spend on research and development of green technologies.
The UK Government, in its recent Research and Development (R&D) Roadmap, has pledged its support for innovation and has recognised the contribution that this can make to the UK economy.
Companies working in ‘green tech’ and looking, either to adapt their business to reduce their own environmental impact or to develop solutions to wider environmental issues, could be eligible for tax relief on eligible research and development projects. This is available at two rates, depending upon the size of the company. SMEs can access relief worth around 24% of the eligible R&D spend whereas large companies are able to claim Research and Development Expenditure Credits (RDEC), net of corporation tax, which is worth around 10% of the eligible R&D spend.
Nick Biden, Managing Director of R & D Tax North West Ltd states, “Many companies, wrongly, assume that what they do isn’t R&D. The definition is much broader than many realise and extends beyond product development or improvement to encompass areas such as adapting to changes driven by regulatory requirements, competition or internal ethics. This could include sustainable technologies such as renewable electricity generation and energy efficiency; development of alternative materials such as recyclable or plant derived plastics; improvement of reuse potential for existing materials; or making existing products more sustainable.”
An example could be a company which seeks to develop more sustainable products or processes that offer the same, or even better, performance than current products could find that they are presented with technological challenges that need to be overcome. This could be the trigger for a qualifying R&D project.
Finding new applications for existing technology could also qualify for tax relief such as the integration of existing renewable technologies to provide a holistic distributed generation capability that reduces the reliance on importing electricity. The building blocks may already exist but how you put them together to achieve the performance may present a technological challenge.
Process development, for example, any work done to improve the process efficiency to reduce scrap rates, wastage, water or fuel consumption in their production process can also be eligible for R & D tax relief.
The tax relief available is significant, offering a corporation tax saving of between 10% – 25% of qualifying costs for profit making companies. These include staff costs, consumables and certain software used in the R&D project, amongst other items. Loss making companies may opt to take the relief as a payable tax credit which can be helpful for start-ups or where the business isn’t cash rich.
We will be partnering with R&D Tax Northwest to deliver a short webinar on green tech R&D tax rebate on Thursday 13 May at 1 p.m., visit www.sustainablefootprints.co.uk/event-calendar or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book your free place now.
Hamza Sadiq, one of Sustainable Footprints’ consultants, has recently completed his master’s degree at the University of Sussex, achieving a MSc with a distinction in Engineering Business Management.
For his MSc Hamza selected and persevered through projects such as a cost-benefit analysis of CO2 emissions reduction technologies to continue his passion for the positive impact technology can have within the business and sustainability sector.
Hamza said, “I selected these projects because they resonated with my own interests and perfectly correlated with a lot of the project work I was supporting Sustainable Footprints clients with.
“Choosing to look into carbon emission reduction and sustainable technologies not only helped me professionally but made the study and research process more engaging as it is a passion of mine.
“I’m delighted to have successfully completed this course and integrate learning about business with my engineering background. I would like to thank my colleagues and tutors for all their support in helping me achieve my master’s degree.”
Congratulations on the incredible addition to your already very impressive CV Hamza!
Geri Findlay, Sustainable Footprints’ Director responded to the release of the UK Government’s Energy White Paper today (14 December 2020): “Today’s Energy White Paper provides an interesting opportunity for ambitious targets to meet the net-zero emissions goal whilst trying to balance various and, sometimes, conflicting interests such as a massive overhaul of infrastructure to facilitate electric vehicles with more renewable energy. This is alongside supporting cheaper energy through tackling loyalty penalties on energy tariffs. Seeing how this manifests itself, and the future landscape in this area, will be interesting and, no doubt, a political ball to be thrown about.”
The key parts of the UK Government’s Energy White Paper include:
- Supporting up to 220,000 jobs in the next 10 years.
- Transforming the UK’s energy system from one based on fossil fuels to one harnessing renewable energy that is fit for a net-zero economy.
- Offering people a more simple method of switching to cheaper energy tariffs and testing automatic switching to fairer deals.
- Generating emission-free electricity by 2050 by increasing the use of renewable energy sources.
- Establishing a UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) from 1 January 2021 to replace the current EU ETS.
- Continuing to explore a range of financing options for new nuclear developments.
- A commitment to deliver 40GW of electricity through offshore wind farms by 2030.
- Investing £1 billion in state-of-the-art carbon capture storage in four industrial clusters by 2030.
- Aim for 5GW of hydrogen production by 2030 backed by a new £240m net-zero Hydrogen Fund.
- Investing £1.3 billion to accelerate the rollout of charge points for electric vehicles in homes, streets and on motorways plus up to £1 billion to support the electrification of cars.
- Supporting the lowest paid with their bills which could save families in old inefficient homes up to £400.
- Moving away from fossil fuel boilers. By mid-2030s, all newly installed heating systems are expected to be low carbon.
Parks of Hamilton have become the latest company empowered by Sustainable Footprints to calculate their own carbon footprint by purchasing their very own copy of CEn-Calc – our carbon and energy quantification tool.
Alisdair Noble, Group Finance Director said:
“At Park’s, we take our commitment to SECR compliance and our environmental impact seriously. We approached Sustainable Footprints about the best way to develop our SECR compliant carbon footprint. After speaking with Geri at Sustainable Footprints we decided to purchase the CEn-Calc which enables us to accurately calculate and monitor year on year our carbon footprint and energy consumption profile. We booked the training session with Hamza to ensure we not only understood how the tool worked but use it to its full advantage. Clear guidance on gathering our data in advance of the session allowed Hamza to explain everything simply and provide a clear understanding of how to record all aspects of our energy usage. Together with the instruction manual provided, I feel confident that by using CEn-Calc we will be able to not only meet our legal compliance obligations but also our carbon and energy reduction commitments.”
CEn-Calc has been specially developed by Sustainable Footprints to enable businesses to use their existing data to calculate their buildings, fleet and process carbon emissions and energy consumption in a robust and repeatable way. Indeed, it is the tool used by Sustainable Footprints consultants themselves. It has been created in Excel so businesses do not need any special software in order to run it.
Hamza Sadiq, Sustainable Footprints’ CEn-Calc Trainer said:
“At Sustainable Footprints, we are immensely proud of our CEn-Calc. We have been keen to provide this to other businesses and organisations as we believe in empowering others and working towards a more sustainable future.
There is more and more emphasis being placed on the environment and working towards combatting climate change. New legislation and legal requirements are being announced and we want to empower organisations to be ready to respond and to meet their legal obligations. Notably, the deadline for the new Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) scheme is drawing ever closer so it is important that businesses are ready.”
CEn-Calc is available to purchase at https://www.sustainablefootprints.co.uk/product/cen_calc/. It costs £1,500 and includes a 12-month licence, instruction manual and SECR statement template. A one day training course can be booked from £500. This can be delivered virtually and will ensure you are comfortable in using the CEn-Calc for your business. A new licence is required after 12-months which costs £250. The new licence comes with updated DEFRA conversion factors and average fuel court prices as well as any upgrades to the CEn-Calc itself.
Sustainable Footprints have been giving a helping hand to a new and upcoming UK based, international accreditation business. We have been supporting them with their financial planning and their UKAS registration for provision of verification products related to carbon footprinting. We are looking forward to continuing to work with them and supporting them as they establish and grow their business.
Sustainable Footprints have another happy SECR customer. This time an aviation supplier who is getting ahead of the game and embracing the value of carbon footprinting by completing their SECR a whole year early (this current accounting year is their first eligible year). Utilising CEn-Calc, our bespoke carbon quantification tool, and our knowledge and expertise we have worked with them to calculate their carbon footprint and ensure they are ready for the real thing next year.
Sustainable Footprints have conducted some research into international carbon reduction schemes and offsetting opportunities for a major multi-national communications company. We’re now ready for their next steps which is to support them through their ISO 14064 Carbon Footprint management system and future certification.
Director, Geri Findlay, has just completed her ISO 22301 Business Continuity Lead Auditor course adding to her already impressive resumé. The value of business continuity planning is only now being realised by lots of businesses affected by Coronavirus. Geri is looking forward to continue working with businesses in helping them survive and thrive during the pandemic recovery and any subsequent ‘second peak’ and beyond.
Our Project Manager, Claire Gomersall has just completed her ISO 50001 Energy Management Lead Auditor course with BSI. She is ready and raring to continue to support businesses implementing and auditing their energy management systems; realise cost and energy savings; as well as contributing to the fight against climate change.