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Carbon Trust takes over ECA scheme

01 August, 2002

Carbon Trust takes over the ECA scheme

The Carbon Trust has taken over responsibility for managing the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) tax write-off scheme, from Future Energy Solutions (FES). But FES - formerly the Government`s Energy Technology Support Unit (Etsu) - will continue to provide technical support.

The ECA scheme was introduced by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in April 2001 to encourage the take-up of energy-efficient products. It allows purchasers of approved energy-saving equipment to write off the entire cost of the equipment against their taxable profits in one year.

The approved equipment - published in the form of the "Energy Technology List" - includes variable speed drives and high-efficiency motors. Although the ECA was expected to boost sales of these types of equipment, many suppliers are reporting that it has had little effect on their sales. Some of them have complained that the scheme has not received sufficient publicity.

The Carbon Trust, which took over management of the ECA scheme on 5 August, has launched several initiatives to help boost awareness of the scheme. These include: a new marketing programme; an expansion of the Energy Technology List; a relaunch of the ECA Web site; and the introduction of an Energy Technology List symbol that suppliers of qualifying equipment can use to identify and promote their wares.

The expanded List now includes new types of compressed air equipment, as well as refrigeration cabinets and compressors. The Carbon Trust`s responsibilities include maintaining the List and identifying and assessing other technologies that might be added to it.

The revamped Web site includes an on-line "exhibition" to help end-users to find suitable technologies and products.

The new Energy Technology List symbol (shown above) is intended to demonstrate that a product has been endorsed independently as being energy efficient. Suppliers of qualifying equipment can contact a helpline (0800 585794) to receive a CD-ROM pack with the new logo and instructions on how to use it.

The Government set up the Carbon Trust in April last year to advise UK businesses on how to cut their carbon emissions. It receives an annual funding from Government of about £50m, some of this coming from the Climate Change Levy. The ECA scheme is estimated to be worth around £200m in the two years to March 2003, depending on how well it is taken up.




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