What Tax Incentives Are Available for Green Energy Investments in UK Companies?

In the current era of increasing awareness about environmental sustainability, the issue of green energy and the incentives offered by the government to businesses investing in this sector is becoming highly prevalent. The United Kingdom, being a leading global economy, has a critical role in this shift towards renewable energy. The UK government has shown a strong commitment to promoting green energy investments through a variety of tax incentives. Today, businesses that are exploring renewable energy sectors such as solar and wind power are likely to benefit from these incentives. In this article, we will delve deep into the tax incentives available for green energy investments in UK companies.

Tax Incentives to Promote Green Energy Investments

The UK government's policy towards green energy is clear - they want to stimulate investment in this sector. Consequently, they have introduced several tax incentives aimed at encouraging businesses to shift from traditional energy sources like gas to renewable ones. Capital investment in green energy is not only good for the environment but also offers significant cost savings for businesses.

One of the prominent incentives is the capital allowances for businesses investing in energy-efficient equipment. These allowances enable businesses to write off the cost of the equipment against taxable profit, thereby reducing the overall tax liability. Moreover, certain renewable energy equipment qualifies for enhanced capital allowances, allowing businesses to claim 100% of the cost in the first year itself.

Feed-In Tariffs and Contract for Difference

In addition to capital allowances, there are two key incentives that promote the use of renewable energy - Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) and Contract for Difference (CfD).

FITs are payments made to businesses generating their own electricity through renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, or hydro. The rate at which these payments are made depends on the type of technology used and the capacity of the system.

On the other hand, the CfD is a government scheme that guarantees a certain price for electricity generated from low-carbon sources. Under this scheme, when the market price for electricity is below the agreed 'strike price,' the government pays the difference to the generator. Conversely, if the market price is above the strike price, the generator pays back the difference, ensuring a stable and predictable income stream for businesses investing in renewable energy.

Tax Relief on Research and Development

The UK government is keenly aware that the growth of the renewable energy sector will be driven by technological advancements. Hence, they encourage businesses to undertake research and development (R&D) in this sector by providing R&D tax credits.

R&D tax credits can reduce a company's tax bill or, for some loss-making companies, provide a cash sum. It's based on the company's expenditure on R&D. This incentive stimulates technological advancement, which in turn will help to drive down the costs of green energy and make it a more viable option for all.

Climate Change Levy Exemption

The Climate Change Levy (CCL) is an environmental tax that the UK government charges on the energy used by businesses. However, businesses that generate their own energy from renewable sources are exempt from this levy, providing a significant cost saving.

This exemption is particularly relevant for businesses with high energy usage, as the CCL can make up a substantial part of their energy costs. By investing in renewable energy and generating their own electricity, businesses can significantly reduce their energy costs.

Enterprise Investment Scheme

The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is yet another significant incentive that the UK government offers to promote investment in green energy. Under the EIS, individuals investing in qualifying companies can claim income tax relief on their investment.

Furthermore, if the investment is kept for a certain period, any gain is free from capital gains tax. This incentive does not directly help businesses, but by encouraging investment in green energy companies, it provides them with the capital needed to grow and develop their renewable energy projects.

In conclusion, the UK government's policy and incentives are aimed at steering businesses towards a greener future. By capitalising on these incentives, businesses can benefit from cost savings and contribute towards the protection of the environment.

Green Deal and Renewable Heat Incentive

The Green Deal and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) are two significant tax incentives aimed at promoting energy efficiency and the use of renewable technologies in the UK.

The Green Deal was a government scheme that provided loans for energy-saving improvements in homes and businesses, such as insulation, draught-proofing, and solar panels. Although this scheme has been closed, those who availed of it continue to benefit from its incentives. The loan is repaid over time through savings made on energy bills, making it a financially viable solution for many.

Meanwhile, the Renewable Heat Incentive encourages the use of renewable heat technologies such as biomass boilers, solar water heating, and certain types of heat pumps. Businesses can receive quarterly cash payments over seven years if they install or have already installed this equipment. These payments are designed to offset the cost of installing and running the new heating system.

Corporate Tax Deductions and Carbon Pricing

Another significant tax incentive is the deduction available to businesses for the corporate tax. Companies that generate their own renewable energy or purchase green energy from suppliers can deduct a portion of these costs from their corporate tax. This incentive is particularly important for large companies with substantial energy needs.

On the other hand, the UK has also introduced a carbon pricing mechanism, which plays a crucial role in the country’s green transition. This involves a charge on carbon emissions, which is designed to incentivise businesses to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The revenue generated from this charge is then used to fund green initiatives and projects.

This mechanism not only encourages businesses to become more energy-efficient but also provides a clear market signal to guide future investments in low-carbon technologies. Moreover, it ensures that companies contributing more to climate change bear a greater share of the costs.


In a nutshell, the UK’s tax policy provides numerous incentives for businesses to invest in green energy. These include capital allowances, tax relief on research and development, exemptions from the Climate Change Levy, and benefits from the Enterprise Investment Scheme. Other significant incentives are available through the Green Deal, Renewable Heat Incentive, corporate tax deductions, and carbon pricing.

These incentives provide businesses with a strong financial case for investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency. They not only lead to significant cost savings but also contribute to the achievement of the UK's ambitious climate change targets.

By taking advantage of these incentives, businesses cannot only reduce their carbon emissions and energy costs but also position themselves as leaders in the green transition. This transition is becoming increasingly important as member states and societies worldwide strive to combat climate change and secure a sustainable future for all.