High prices stir green push
May 07, 2012 (Menafn - Bangkok Post - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --The rising prices of oil, gas and electricity have prompted several businesses to apply for energy-saving initiatives.
The Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency Department has been overwhelmed by requests for support despite having allocated 200 million baht to encourage small and medium-sized businesses to adopt energy-saving appliances and factories. The requests amount to nearly 1 billion baht.
Under the programme, the department will offer grants amounting to 20% of the total project for businesses to change, modify or renovate buildings and factories or anything that could save energy, said deputy director-general Twarath Sutabutr.
In addition, the department has partnered with the Revenue Department to offer private companies a tax deduction for money spent in the amount of 25% of investment value.
Krairit Nilkuha, director-general of the Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency Department, said the department has set a target to persuade as many as 30,000 small and medium-sized enterprises to take part in the energy-saving scheme.
Thailand's top energy service provider, Excellent Energy International Co, reported that new clients have surged since last month after no new contracts were signed in the previous four months.
"There are a lot of new clients asking us about energy saving," said managing director Arthit Vechakij, adding that anticipated energy bills at the end of this month have led many businesses to change their consumption habits.
A good example is the recent partnership by Kasikornbank (KBank) with the William J. Clinton Foundation and Azbil (Thailand), Philips Electronics (Thailand) and Trane (Thailand) in a scheme aimed at boosting energy efficiency.
Songpol Chevapanyaroj, an executive vice-president of KBank, said the fuel tariff increase by 30 satang per unit for this year's May-August period is estimated to raise production costs by 6-7%.
The most affected are private operators in cold-storage, electronics, hotels and hospitals.
Aside from a 3-billion-baht lending facility to finance energy-efficiency projects, KBank will offer a standardised energy-performance contract.
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