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Business energy and The Green Deal

green deal scheme for businessEnergy prices are no longer relegated to the business pages of the newspapers.  Energy consumption, and the cost of that consumption, is now front-page news.  And what is true for the domestic sector is only more pronounced within the business sector, where energy usage is likely to be a major factor to the bottom line of any business.  The government is always keen to stress the importance of taking energy efficiency measures.  The Green Deal has been a factor within the domestic sector for some time now, but the government has now announced it will be extended to cover businesses. The deal will work in exactly the same way as the domestic market:  put simply, with no up-front costs, the government will pay for energy efficiencies to your premises, and these costs will then be repaid through a surcharge on your energy bill.  However, let’s now break it down into a little more detail.  An initial assessment will address which energy efficiency measures will best suit your premises.  There may be a cost associated with having that initial assessment, although this ultimately may be swallowed by the company you use for the installation, providing they get your business. That assessment will then detail the improvements that might be made, whether that be solar panels, insulation, intelligent lighting etc. Based on those findings, you can then apply to the government, under the Green Deal, for funding to cover all those costs.  If you are successful, you will pay nothing up-front at all for these improvements to your business premises, whether commercial, corporate or administrative.  Instead, the costs will repaid in installments, within this supplement to your existing energy bill.

A different deal for businesses

OK, here comes the fine-print…. although in our initial readings of the plan it does seem to hold together as a good idea.  Firstly, there is a cap on the amount domestic users of the Green Deal can apply for.  However, costs associated with business premises are obviously a lot higher and at the moment it seems there is no upper limit to the amount businesses can apply for; it’s more a case of what you can agree with the company you use to install theses technologies.  Secondly, the financial savings you make must exceed the costs incurred.  In other words, you can’t build a wind farm on top of your kebab shop that will never return the savings you make.  In addition, if you are already signed up to some aspects of the Green Deal, such as those around climate change and carbon reduction, you may well be able to layer those existing agreements in with the new aspects of this scheme. So, some (green) food for thought.  But let’s leave you with this one last consideration.  This scheme has little or no upfront costs, and once costs are paid off, you will obviously enjoy the benefits of lower energy use, and therefore lower bills, for the lifetime of your business.  Such measures will also make your business more attractive if the time comes to sell up.

Published by Utility Helpline on (modified )