Farmers will soon get tax breaks for savings on energy-efficient projects. Details are expected by the middle of year, writes Drieka Burger.
Farmers are getting an incentive to invest in energy-efficient equipment – finance minister Trevor Manuel’s budget review last month proposed an additional tax allowance of up to 15% on the investments, if the resulting energy efficiency is certified by the Energy Efficiency Agency.
But this proposal will only be clarified towards the middle of the year, says treasury spokesperson Lindani Mbunyuza. She said a draft bill would take into account input from all relevant stakeholders, including farming organisations and organised business.
Gustav Radloff, managing director of Energy Cybernetics, a company specialising in energy audits and energy optimisation projects, says energy savings are certified following measurement and verification. The process determines the consumer’s energy profiles before and after the energy-efficient project, and compares them to calculate the savings.
Radloff said it was good business practice for a farmer or business to spend 10% to 15% of the money saved using energy efficient equipment on measurement and verification.
He advised anyone wanting to invest in energy efficient projects, like solar water pumps or a plant to produce diesel from plant fibre, to first contact a measurement and verification team to ensure the project starts out on the right footing.
Currently these teams are found at a few specialist energy management companies and universities. Radloff says they’ll probably also compile savings benchmarks for small projects where measurement and verification aren’t cost-effective. |fw