Green energy offers potential for profit

MANY companies in the East of England are missing out on an opportunity to make money as well as to improve the “green” credentials of their business, according to a regional architectural and building consultancy firm.

Ingleton Wood, which has offices Colchester, Norwich and Billericay as well as London, says the new Feed in Tariffs legislation means that installing renewable electricity generating systems on business premises can be profitable as well as environmentally-friendly.

“The new Feed in Tariffs are payments from the energy company for every kilowatt (KWh) of electricity generated by renewable systems, such as wind turbines and solar panels,” said Robert Diamond, sustainability associate at Ingleton Wood.

“The law changed at the beginning of the financial year 2010 to make bigger pay outs to businesses who install green technology. It means that installing green energy at your business premises can bring a 12% return – far higher than most banks or building societies.

“Further payments are also made for any surplus electricity you generate that is fed back into the national grid,” added Mr Diamond. “There are also substantial savings to be made on electricity bills by using the electricity at source.”

Feed in Tariff payments are made for 25 years from the date that a system is installed, with the pay back period being as little as eight years.

“Until this change in the law it might take 100 years or more for green energy to pay for itself when you install a wind turbine or solar panels in your premises,” said Mr Diamond.

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“Now, it will pay back in a dramatically shorter time – eight to 12 years - and after that can start earning a business money when the set up costs are paid off. Free electricity is provided and the government continues paying even though costs are covered.

“It’s such an excellent investment opportunity that many banks are now offering loans to encourage people to invest in green technology – because they know pay back is guaranteed by the government and it’s a safe investment,” he added.

“The return on investment is so good that banks will now give loans for installing green energy because of the excellent pay back. It’s a safe venture because if you install this technology you are guaranteed payments from the government for 25 years. So safe banks are getting involved and giving loans for it.”