Eco-friendly finances: Exploring energy efficient tax credits in the UK

According to a survey conducted in 2022, about 74% of customers believe that environmental sustainability is essential to them. 79% of people believe that business goals go beyond just making profits to establish broader social obligations.

Undoubtedly, everyone agrees on one thing – people need to create awareness about green investments.

Hire tax advisor

Work with UK-based Experts for tax, audit, accounting, payroll, & EIS/ SEIS needs.

Have a question? Call us on
0203 983 8100
Monday to Friday 9am – 4:30pm

Table of content

Need for energy-efficient schemes 

Energy-efficient schemes are instrumental in promoting sustainable investments worldwide, and the UK is no exception. For instance, the Green Homes Grant scheme is one such measure announced by the UK government to encourage people to make their homes energy efficient.

Understanding eco-friendly finances

Here is a breakdown of the terms before we begin our exploration. 

Eco-friendly finances refer to the process of taking ESG (environmental, social and good governance) considerations into account when making business and investment decisions. 

The benefits of green finance strategy are multifaceted:

  • It helps decrease expenses by lowering energy consumption and cutting the use of other resources. 
  • Increases brand loyalty and a more significant customer base. 
  • A positive environmental approach enhances brand image, thus creating trust and goodwill among stakeholders. 

Sustainable investment funds: A closer look

Sustainable investment funds provide capital to enterprises and initiatives that conform to principles set out in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) guidelines. 

Companies with strong ESG practices tend to be more resilient to environmental and social risks, thus potentially offering more stable returns over the long term. 

In the UK, there are plenty of sources for green loans. 

Exploring energy-efficient tax credits in the UK 

Energy-efficient tax credits are incentives designed to attract businesses and individuals to invest in energy-efficient technologies. The UK offers several schemes. 

If you buy something that qualifies for 100% first-year allowances, you can subtract the entire cost from your profits before paying taxes. Included here are new electric vehicles, gas station equipment, and emissions-free cars.

  • Aggregates levy

The Aggregates Levy is taxed on sand, gravel and rock taken from the ground, dredged from UK waters, or imported. Tax relief may be available for exported aggregates and their use in specific industrial or agricultural processes, so long as they are not used as aggregate material.

  • Plastic Packaging Tax

Relief against tax might be given on components exported or converted under the Plastic Packaging Tax. You may qualify if you manufacture or import plastic packaging components that have shipped within the same accounting period or plan to export in the next 12 months.

  • Feed-in tariff

Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) encourages customers to use clean power generation technologies. 

Incentives such as these promote the installation of various renewable energy systems, including photovoltaic panels for solar energy, wind turbines, hydroelectric schemes, anaerobic digestion plants and micro CHP units.

  • Zero-rating VAT

The zero-rating VAT initiative for the next five years on installing energy-saving materials, such as insulation and low-carbon heating, acts as an energy-efficient tax credit. 

Tax credits for energy efficiency are great for businesses wanting to be greener and save money on taxes. They help cut operating costs, boost the economy, and help the environment. 

By using these credits and adopting energy-saving technologies, your business can help the planet and improve its finances.

  • RHI

The Renewable Heat Incentive encourages using renewable energy for heating in private households, communities, and businesses through financial support. 

The revised RHI scheme has been operational since April 1, 2021

Case study: Success stories of energy efficiency

Walmart, one of the world’s biggest retailers, leads the way in using energy-saving methods. They’ve installed LED lights, efficient heating and cooling systems, and solar panels on their rooftops. These changes have saved them on energy bills.

The role of green investments in eco-friendly finances

The investments that do not make the environment worse off are the green investments.

Today, the green finance strategy is gaining traction. Investors are encouraged to seek companies with high ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) ratings, innovative green products, and transparent sustainability reports to identify environmentally friendly stocks. 

Another source is green loans.

Green bonds: Investing in the future

Green bonds are instruments used as debts that finance environmental friendly projects, such as renewable energy, ecological transport, or energy efficiency campaigns.

They have gained popularity among investors interested in supporting green causes while potentially earning financial returns. Green bonds are accessible through channels like bond issuers, stock exchanges, and financial media platforms. 

As per a survey conducted in 2021, the UK was the fifth largest green bond-issuing country. The highest contributor is the government only.

Maximising benefits: Combining tax credits and green investments

Tax credits play a crucial role in boosting returns on green investments by reducing the overall cost burden for investors. By leveraging these tax credits, investors can offset initial investment costs and enjoy steady income streams or savings from their green assets. 

During economic and stock market instability, tax credit investments present a distinct chance for companies to bolster and enhance their business strategies. Additionally, it helps align with the transition towards environmental sustainability.

Combining tax credits with green investments requires smart planning. 

  • One strategy is to research and find projects that qualify for tax benefits
  • Another way is to partner with experts about green finance and tax incentives. They can help you navigate complex rules and make the most of tax breaks
  • Additionally, consider spreading your investments across different green projects to diversify your portfolio and reduce risks. 

Regularly monitoring changes in tax laws and policies is also essential to ensure you’re taking full advantage of available incentives. By carefully blending tax credits with green investments, you help the environment and improve your financial situation in the long run. 

Hire tax advisor

Work with UK-based Experts for tax, audit, accounting, payroll, & EIS/ SEIS needs.

Have a question? Call us on
0203 983 8100
Monday to Friday 9am – 4:30pm

Wrap up

Countries today have several environmental goals to fulfil, like net zero emissions and much more. A green finance strategy can be a big step in achieving these goals. 

Companies can lower their carbon emissions and boost profits using tax credits and incentives. 

The growth of green finance strategies and investments highlights a change towards ethical and sustainable economic practices. It is motivated by a broader sense of social responsibility and financial incentives. 

It’s time to secure our futures while investing in the future of our planet.