As the climate change protesters Extinction Rebellion (XR) hit the streets in unprecedented numbers what can you do and, what tax incentives are currently on offer, to assist you in running a more climate friendly business?
1. Cycle to work
- The Cycle to Work scheme permits an employer to provide cycles and/or associated safety equipment to employees tax free.
- Cycles can be loaned, or pooled, or employees wish to purchase their own equipment, given a tax-free employee loan instead.
- See Cycles & Cyclists' Safety equipment
2. Install solar panels and PVC cells on your office roof to plug in to low cost almost carbon free energy.
3. Add an energy saving boiler, hand drier and fridge.
4. Convert your day time waste energy back into power using heat and air exchangers.
Tax breaks for items 2. - 4.
Capital Allowances: You can claim a 100% Annual Investment Allowance on purchases of up to £1,000,000 of plant and machinery (up to £200,000 from 2016- to 31 December 2018.
If you have used up your AIA, or the caught by the AIA transitional rules, do not overlook Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECA).
- Like the AIA this allows you to claim 100% of the cost.
- Claim now they are due to end in April 2020
- ECA are available on a long list of energy saving products.
5. Trade your car for a lower emission vehicle
- We have quite a few debates on this: it is better to ‘use up’ all those old bad emissions cars, bearing in mind that there is a major carbon cost in manufacturing a new clean car and disposal of an old one?
- There a first year allowance for electric cars or if CO2 emissions are 75g/km or lower.
- In terms of Company car benefit for 2019/20, there reduced rates for Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles (ULEV)
- A new zero-emission band.
- Five new bands based on zero-emission miles for ULEVs below 50g CO2 per km.
- Five bands for ULEVs between 51 and 75 CO2 per km.
- Four bands for ULEVs between 76 and 94 CO2 per km.
6. Install a workplace electricity charging station.
- Finance Act 2019 backdated the benefits rules for Electric charging facilities.
- From 6 April 2018 the provision of free electric charging facilities for electric or plug-in hybrid cars will be a tax free benefit in kind, provided it is made available for all employees at that workplace.
- The cost will qualify for AIA or ECA.
7. A car, a van or charging station? Have you got all the kit you can?
- Check out plug-in vehicle grants
- These grants are due to end in 2020: review the list
8. Wash your car in the rain: use a bio-friendly cleaning product.
- If you don’t want to get your feet wet then pay a teenager to do the job. Yes, they might spend the cash on online gambling, snacks or sweet drinks but at least they will be outdoors!
9. Make the office paperless
- Printers might cost less than £25 but they are made of non-biodegradable materials and ink is generally not friendly, they are pretty much thrown away items and they take a lot of carbon to produce.
10. Have work at home days for your employees.
- ‘The jury’ is out on this measure as although this may reduce the carbon cost of daily commute it also means that you are now doubling the light and heat bill as they light and heat their own home workplace.
- See Working at home: employees