There are a number of reasons larger institutions are turning to cogeneration and trigeneration. While these energy solutions may seem most available to those enterprises with deep pockets, there are a number of reasons why power sources like Capstone microturbines are beneficial and affordable for smaller businesses as well.

Between consumer trends and government incentives, now is the time for small business owners to consider the benefits of microturbine-based energy solutions.

Consumer conscience and green business

Simply being known as an environmentally conscious business can be incredibly profitable for SMEs. Consumers around the globe are increasingly using their wallets to support businesses that promote sustainable practices.

Customers will pay more to support sustainable businesses.Customers will pay more to support sustainable businesses.

The number of customers worldwide who will pay extra for sustainability has been rising drastically over the last three years, according to the 2015 Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report. In 2013, half of consumers worldwide were willing to spend more on sustainable products. That number rose to 55 per cent in 2014 and shot up even farther to 66 per cent in 2015.

Before considering the savings from utility cost reductions, microturbines can provide financial incentives through the prospect of increased patronage from ecologically minded consumers.

Businesses can broadcast their efforts to reduce emissions through the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS). This program provides a framework for determining sustainability in a concrete way.

SMEs that meet certain offset standards through energy efficiency measures can advertise their compliance with the NCOS and show consumers they meet recognisable standards of environmental conscientiousness.

Save with reduced electricity costs

One of the biggest advantages of microturbines is that they generate power on site, reducing the need for businesses to pay for expensive electricity from the grid. This results in some significant savings for SMEs.

Lynden Aged Care receives 90 per cent of their electricity from cogeneration.

Through cogeneration, Capstone microturbines are also able to capture the heat generated through electricity production and use that for heating purposes in the building – further reducing the amount a business spends on utilities.

Lynden Aged Care in Melbourne, for instance, saw significant savings from an installation of two Capstone microturbines. This cogeneration system provides 90 per cent of the centre's electricity, as well as a significant amount of its heating needs.

With certain cogeneration and trigeneration systems, units are primed for use at specific levels. This means that they are not necessarily suitable for buildings with lower energy use needs. If running at less-than-optimal levels, these systems are unable to provide the projected CO2 emissions reductions and reduced electricity costs.

Capstone microturbines, on the other hand, are modular. This scalability ensures that they can be tailored to fit buildings with lower energy needs while still delivering on the estimated cost, energy and emissions reductions.

An edge for SMEs in new tax amendments

Though microturbines present a number of cost-saving benefits, they still require a large initial investment. There is, however, a way to save money through that investment. 

Tax policies introduced in 2015 make microturbines more accessible for small businesses.Tax policies introduced in 2015 make microturbines more accessible for small businesses.

Thanks to Small Business Measure No. 2 of the Tax Laws Amendment Act 2015, the limit on tax deductions for new business assets has been raised from $1,000 to $20,000. This means that any enterprise with under $2 million in aggregate turnover can apply for a write off on each business asset that costs less than $20,000.

Through asset write-offs, Microturbines are much more accessible for smaller businesses with budgetary concerns.

This measure was introduced on May 12, 2015 and is ongoing until June 30, 2017. SME owners would do well to take advantage of this initiative before it expires. 

There are a number of additional benefits when using microturbine-based energy solutions from Optimal Group. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of cogeneration and trigeneration for small businesses.