Updated: Jul 5, 2020
Budget 2018 announced the withdrawal of Enhanced Capital Allowances for most energy or water efficient plant and machinery from April 2020 and businesses that make significant investments on eligible assets beyond this 12 month period are set to lose out.
Businesses involved in Food and Drink, Electronics, Chemicals, Printing, Construction, Metal Finishing and Hospitality or Leisure are likely to be most affected by the change.
What are Enhanced Capital Allowances
Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECAs) were introduced in 2001 by Gordon Brown to encourage UK business investment in more expensive “green technologies” to improve operational efficiency and help reduce carbon footprints.
They were intended to provide a straight forward way for businesses to improve their cash flow through accelerated tax relief.
The rules apply to certain energy and water efficient plant or machinery and the benefits include:
100% First Year Allowances (instead of 6%, 8% or 18%), or if loss making;
First Year Tax Credit of 19% (reducing to two thirds of the prevailing CT rate in 2018/19).
Significant Investment Only
With the temporary increase in Annual Investment Allowance to £1 million it is now only investment in qualifying expenditure beyond this amount that is likely to benefit before ECA withdrawal on 1 April 2020 (companies) and 6 April 2020 (unincorporated businesses).
If you are looking to upgrade or build a new facility where water or energy consumption is going to be key you will need to plan and consider the availability of ECAs well in advance of the deadline to benefit.
Energy Efficient Technologies
There are 16 supported energy efficient technologies, many of which have their own sub-category.
With the exception of (4), (9) and (11), most operate a product based system approach (i.e. the product you’ve purchased needs to match what is registered on the ECA website).
There are also restrictions on products that receive a Feed-In Tariff or Renewable Heat Incentive.
Automatic Monitoring & Targeting (aM&T)
Air-to-air energy recovery devices
Combined Heat and Power
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Equipment
High Speed Hand Air Dryers
Motors and Drives
Radiant and Warm Air Heaters
Solar Thermal Systems and Collectors
Uninterruptible Power Supplies
Waste Heat to Electricity Conversion Equipment
Water Technology List
There are 15 supported water technologies some of which have their own sub-technologies.
Like the ETL list, most are based on a product registration based system but some (15) require a “Certificate of Environmental Benefit” in order to qualify
Efficient washing machines
Greywater recovery and reuse equipment
Leakage monitoring and control equipment
Meters and monitoring equipment
Rainwater harvesting equipment
Small-scale slurry and sludge dewatering equipment
Vehicle-wash water reclaim units
Water efficient industrial cleaning equipment
Water management equipment for mechanical seals
Water re-use systems
For further details on this or any aspect of the UK tax incentives available for capital and related expenditure please do not hesitate to get in touch.