The footprint considers all six of the Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gases: Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous oxide (N2O), Hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs), Per fluorocarbons (PFCs) and Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

A carbon footprint is measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e). The carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) allows the different greenhouse gases to be compared on a like-for-like basis relative to one unit of CO2. CO2e is calculated by multiplying the emissions of each of the six greenhouse gases by its 100 year global warming potential (GWP).

Enhanced Capital Allowances

Give yourself a break – investing in energy-saving equipment does more than just save your business money. It’s often more tax efficient.

Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECAs) are a straightforward way for a business to improve its cash flow through accelerated tax relief. The ECA scheme for energy-saving technologies encourages businesses to invest in energy-saving plant or machinery specified on the Energy Technology List (ETL) which is managed by the Carbon Trust on behalf of Government.

The ECA scheme provides businesses with 100% first year tax relief on their qualifying capital expenditure. The ETL specifies the energy-saving technologies that are included in the ECA scheme. The scheme allows businesses to write off the whole cost of the equipment against taxable profits in the year of purchase. This can provide a cash flow boost and an incentive to invest in energy-saving equipment which normally carries a price premium when compared to less efficient alternatives.

How it works

So if your business pays corporation tax at 28%, every £1,000 spent on qualifying equipment would reduce its tax bill in the year of purchase by £280. In contrast, for every £1,000 spent, the generally available capital allowance for spending on plant and machinery* would reduce your business’ tax bill in the year of purchase by £56. In other words, an ECA can provide a cash flow boost of £224 for every £1,000 it spends in the year of purchase**.

Improve your bottom line

For more information about the scheme, read the ECA scheme for energy-saving technologies brochure (PDF) or visit the ECA website to check the eligibility of equipment via the Energy Technology List (ETL).

Loans to Help fund your energy savings

For projects in England and Scotland you may be interested in the Carbon Trust Energy Efficiency Financing scheme which is provided through the Carbon Trust’s partnership with Siemens Financial Services and is delivered to organisations in the private and public sector.


Submitted 23/01/2013


Our contact with this company arose from a conversation at a Trade Fair in Harrogate. Like most companies, we were looking to reduce our carbon footprint and energy usage.


Our big gain to reduce energy was to replace our existing 6’ twin fluorescent surface mounted light fittings with a more efficient light source. BECS [Graham Brown] made a visit to our premises and suggested that it would be possible to retro fit our existing fittings with new LED tubes. We were delighted with a trial run, and have continued to fit new tubes as opportunity arises. All work has been carried out by ‘in house’ staff.


Our new lighting has done exactly as specified by BECS, reducing our lighting load by at least 65%, vastly reducing maintenance and flicking lights, and giving better light with instant start. The lamp life is quoted at over 40 000 hours but we are unable to comment as ours are relatively new [2 years], but there is no reason at this stage to assume that the rated lamp life will not be achieved.


This company offers comprehensive advice and first class service and we would have no hesitation in recommending their services.


Chris Marsden. Xiros Ltd, Leeds. [Building Services]


Chris Marsden