Archive for February, 2014

Is the water you use fairly priced?

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Let’s face it, for most business owners that are looking to reduce overheads, the water bill is not always an obvious place to start.  Frequently still known as ‘water rates’, the image of a fixed charge made to a publicly owned utility is still prevalent. 

In reality, the various different water and wastewater providers in England and Wales are privately owned companies that in most cases are charged with making a profit.  The location of your business premises will determine which supplier(s) you are with, and those suppliers will levy charges according to a published tariff 

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Charities face VAT claim on energy bills

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Charities are able to claim reduced VAT of 5% on their energy bills for supplies deemed to be on non-business sites. However, if the charity have a shop, store, or café, which HMRC believe qualify as being used for business purposes then they must pay the full 20% of VAT on those bills plus Climate Change Levy (CCL) that they are otherwise exempt from paying.

There are exceptions to this rule, one being for supplies which fall below levels currently set at 1,000 kilowatt hours a month of electricity, or if you receive a delivery of not more than 2,300 litres of gas oil.

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Get your air con inspected or face £5,000 fine

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) requires all building operators in England and Wales responsible for comfort cooling air conditioning plant with a combined output per building of 12kW or more to have had that equipment inspected by no later than Jan 4th 2011. Trading Standards Officers are enforcing this legislation and issuing fixed penalties for non compliance of up to £5,000.

Inspections should be by an accredited person who is not also responsible for plant maintenance due to the conflict of interest.
The purpose of these inspections is to identify opportunities for energy/carbon saving which can be very significant – typically 20-70% with payback periods from 18 to 36 months.