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    What We Do

    We are the UK’s leading firm specialising exclusively in renewable energy land rent audits. We are dedicated to ensuring that those who have invested in renewables receive full and accurate returns from the green energy produced.

     

     

     

  • Tag Archives: land rent royalty audit


    Preserving our National Parks requires the support of the landowners that maintain them

    By Accounting for Energy – (4 min read)

    Environment Secretary Michael Gove recently announced that National Parks will be reviewed as part of a 25-Year Environment Plan, with the aim of expanding existing National Park designation across England. This has been generally well received by national press and countryside conservationists alike. After all, calls to protect our English green lands sounds like a universally appealing policy. But there is some scepticism, arguably among those with the greatest stake in National Parks, who are calling for the economic growth to remain at the centre of the debate. We consider what the implications may be for renewable landowners within England’s National Parks.

    According to Gove, the review of National Parks is in recognition of the urgent need to protect them – their landscapes, their wildlife, while “properly supporting all those who live [and] work in them”. However, it is this apparent pecking order, which has caused concern to some, including the nation’s most influential landowners’ lobbying group.

    The Country Land and Business Association (CLA), whose members manage around half of the rural land in England and Wales, has urged Gove to consider what the impact on increased protectionism will be on the economic development within National Parks.

    In a press release, CLA President Tim Breitmeyer commented, “most businesses within designated landscapes experience significant opposition and hostility to development of any kind” and greater consideration of economic growth is paramount to achieve the “right balance” between growth and preserving natural beauty.

    This is a compelling argument that must be taken seriously, and to take this a step further, it’s important to consider the impact Gove’s announcement will have on renewable development. While National Park authorities say they encourage renewable projects, landowners and farmers within National Parks may find they are not able to rent out their land for renewable schemes in the same way that their counterparts outside of the National Parks can. The commercial viability may be limited by the need to comply with the National Parks’ purposes.

    The development of renewable land within National Parks plays a vital role in the economic growth that sustains the very communities which maintain these parks – providing alternative energy, jobs, and crucial infrastructure to name a few.

    Gove insists that the increased protection of natural areas would “strengthen [them] in the face of present-day challenges”. While the creation of National Park designation almost 70 years ago has served to protect the heritage of some of the UK’s finest land, the “challenges” the country faces today are nuanced and multifaceted.

    More complex solutions are needed to satisfy competing ambitions for our National Parks, namely between preserving beautiful spaces without impeding the economic and renewable opportunities of the people who maintain them.

    If we are serious about achieving both, we need to give room to development opportunities in National Parks that will facilitate this economic and renewable growth – in doing so we can ensure they are sustainable to thrive for generations to come.

    To check whether your land rent payments are accurate, get in touch with our specialists auditors today.

    Share

    The new tax year: how your land rent payments are likely to be affected

    By Accounting for Energy – (4 min read)

    “End of Tax Year” evokes all sorts of emotions in people – for some, the thought of the paperwork and facing their accounts fills them with dread, while for others it’s a motivating factor to finish on a high or start a new cycle with a fresh sheet. This time of year also has an impact on land rent payments, and there are a number of factors to be aware of to ensure you are getting the best negotiation. In this article we outline three situations that could affect your land rent payments in the coming tax year.

    Firstly, it’s important to understand that payments are calculated using a minimum rent fee which is a flat rate, then there is the turnover rent, which is based on energy output and activity.

    Inflation

    It’s expected that inflation will go up at some point in the year which will mean rent payments are likely to be static. The normal expectation is that rent payments go up by about five percent with inflation, but if there is an increase, the most likely scenario is that payments will freeze, and for those who do see an increase, it’ll only be by a percent or two. This is because the minimum rent payment is linked to inflation and increases at a slower rate when interest rates rise, and turnover rent is affected by energy prices which would go down, so the money being made from the energy source would be less.

    Brexit

    Brexit could actually have a positive effect on both rent payments, especially if we get a hard Brexit. As the value of the pound decreases and the price of imports increase, the cost of electricity will see a hike, as will the cost of living which will in turn affect inflation and minimum rents.

    We currently import electricity from the Internal Energy Market and once our relationship with the EU changes, this may need to be renegotiated. We could find ourselves in a position where there is more demand in the UK for wind energy and electricity, which will increase turnover rents

    The Budget

    Based on the 2017 Autumn Budget announcement farmers will keep more of their money in the new tax year. The Personal Allowance will go up by £350, while the basic rate of income tax goes up by £1,000 to £34,500. In addition, self-employed workers who pay Class Four National Insurance will be able to keep £1,350 more of their money before falling into the higher earnings threshold.

    Here’s an example of how the budget might affect farmers:

    Scenario One

    A farmer whose wind farm produces £11,850* will get an extra £88.20**:

    – This year they keep £11,300.06.
    – Next year they keep £11,388.26.

    Scenario Two

    A farmer whose wind farm produces £46,350* will get an extra £263.70**:

    – This year they keep £35,619.50.
    – Next year they keep £35,883.26.

    It’s hard to assess what these factors combined will mean for land owners, but given that rent payments increase annually, landowners will be affected in some way at different times. Ensuring you are receiving accurate returns from your renewables investment can be a challenge as it is – we identify underpayments in 75% of our royal audit reviews – and this coupled with the any of the above factors can add another level of inaccuracy. If your rent payments contracts are due for review soon it's worth considering whether you can renegotiate a better deal.

    * Assumes no other income. Applies to those who are self-employed but not in receipt of married or blind persons allowance.
    ** These figures are estimates, contact AfE to find out how you are affected.

    To check whether your land rent payments are accurate, get in touch with our specialists auditors today.

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    How renewable energy landowners are powering the economy

    By Accounting for Energy – (3 min read)

    If you’re a landowner and feel like you’ve pulled the short straw with your land payments, or like you could be getting more out of your land but you don’t know how, those feelings may not be completely misplaced. Read on to understand why you may be entitled to more, and to find out how to go about getting it.

    There are an estimated 7000 onshore wind turbines across the UK which have an operational capacity of 12,078 MW* – one-fifth of this capacity is due to the record-breaking amount of wind power that was created in 2017. Wind power has had a good run recently, which wouldn’t be possible without the landowners who contribute a vast amount to the energy sector and often get little recognition for it.

    We estimate that one-third of landowners are individuals, and individual wind farm landowners generate 10.5 million MWhs* of energy which is worth more than one billion pounds to the UK economy, and landowners see a small fraction of this.

    Individual landowners also reduce carbon emissions by 4.5 million tonnes each year, and power more than 2.5 million homes – that’s enough to power all households in Scotland.

    So if you’re a landowner and have had some nagging questions in the back of your mind about the wind turbines on your land, rest assured there could be some grounds for these thoughts.

    What you can do

    Firstly recognise that the land you own has contributed to the surge of wind power generation, and without your land the economy would be worse off. Armed with the information above, hopefully you have a bit more confidence to at least explore whether you are indeed getting paid less than you should be.

    Based on numerous audits, co-founder of Accounting for Energy, Travis Benn, estimates that 75% of land rent payments could be underpaid. Payment figures are reached using complex calculations, and we have found that even highly-skilled in-house legal and accounts teams don’t have the time and resources to completely understand them. But this is where specialist auditors come in, they can check if you have been receiving accurate payments. If nothing else, it’ll give you peace of mind, and at best you could receive a back payment, and have an improved rental agreement going forward. The service is free and charged on a contingency basis and all that is required from you is the relevant paperwork.

     

    *Figures are estimates and all stats are for sites 100kW and over.

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  • Testimonials

    •  

      “We found your report informative and easy to read, it was good to see how the wind farm is performing
      and we were pleased with the results of the audit”

       

      Mark Charles,

      Exeter

      Share
    • “Job well done”

       

      Sara James,

      Durham

      Share
    • “Early non-payment discovered so very happy with outcome”

       

      Martin Roberts,

      Peterborough

      Share
    • “Excellent service. The review has given me peace of mind”

       

      Tracy Maria,

      Cumbria

      Share
    • ‘We found the report very thorough and really interesting and were pleased
      that the payments have been corrected and appreciate your help with this very much’

       

      David Terrence,

      Devon

      Share
    •  

      “In every instance Accounting for Energy have identified and recovered shortfalls in rent for my clients. Not only do the landowners receive back payments but they are also keen to show developers that they are being held to account.”

       

      Chris Thyer MRICS FAAV

      Land Agent, GSC Grays

      Share
    •  

      “We don’t have comparable leases in renewable energy meaning there are few examples to draw from, so it’s always good to have checks and balances in place. We would recommend Accounting for Energy for their diligence.”

       

      Ali Walker

      Property Co-ordinator, Bath and Wells Diocese, Church of England

      Share
    •  

      “The information provided by the turbine owner seemed to be comprehensive. The issue comes with knowing if all the data is complete and the audit was able to identify areas that we should have been receiving royalties on.”

       

      Ben Ardern

      Financial Controller, Dewlay Cheesemakers

      Share
    •  

      “I worked with Travis on a set of arbitral proceedings to recover unpaid royalties on behalf of the landowners of a large renewable energy site. I was very inspired by his passion for his industry and his tireless commitment to getting the best results.”

       

      Sarah Bishop,

      Commercial Disputes Solicitor

      Share
    •  

      “Travis is the go-to person for renewable energy landowner royalty payments. He gets into the details of a case, and is very tenacious in identifying and recovering any monies owed to landowners.”

       

      Grant Jones,

      Chartered accountant, solicitor and practicing arbitrator

      Share
    •  

      “I would recommend Accounting for Energy because they are clearly experts in this area, and they were good to work with. It was an easy
      decision to get them on board because we really didn’t have the expertise or the time to be trawling through the lease and power purchase agreement.”

       

      Nick Kenyon,

      CEO, Dewlay Cheesemakers

      Share
  •  

    Freccia Benn is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of Accounting for Energy (AfE). Her successful private health business background and achievements have played a vital role in the creation of AfE, her mission is to impact every landowner that has invested in renewable energy. Freccia is responsible for all operational activities and client services.

     

     

    “I love the countryside and will seize any opportunity to get out of the office to meet with our rural clients. I am passionate about creating a level playing field between our individual landowners and their site operators. I also enjoy working with our commercial clients to maximise and safeguard the revenues from their renewable energy investments.”

     

    Freccia Benn
    Co-Founder

     

    0203 876 0324

     

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  • Testimonials

    • “We found your report informative and easy to read, it was good to see how the wind farm is performing
      and we were pleased with the results of the audit”

       

      Mark Charles,

      Exeter

      Share
    • “Job well done”

       

      Sara James,

      Durham

      Share
    • “Early non-payment discovered so very happy with outcome”

       

      Martin Roberts,

      Peterborough

      Share
    • “Excellent service. The review has given me peace of mind”

       

      Tracy Maria,

      Cumbria

      Share
    • “We found the report very thorough and really interesting and were pleased
      that the payments have been corrected and appreciate your help with this very much”

       

      David Terrence,

      Devon

      Share
    • “In every instance Accounting for Energy have identified and recovered shortfalls in rent for my clients. Not only do the landowners receive back payments but they are also keen to show developers that they are being held to account.”

       

      Chris Thyer MRICS FAAV

      Land Agent, GSC Grays

      Share
    • “We don’t have comparable leases in renewable energy meaning there are few examples to draw from, so it’s always good to have checks and balances in place. We would recommend Accounting for Energy for their diligence.”

       

      Ali Walker

      Property Co-ordinator, Bath and Wells Diocese, Church of England

      Share
    • “The information provided by the turbine owner seemed to be comprehensive. The issue comes with knowing if all the data is complete and the audit was able to identify areas that we should have been receiving royalties on.”

       

      Ben Ardern

      Financial Controller, Dewlay Cheesemakers

      Share
    • “I worked with Travis on a set of arbitral proceedings to recover unpaid royalties on behalf of the landowners of a large renewable energy site. I was very inspired by his passion for his industry and his tireless commitment to getting the best results.”

       

      Sarah Bishop,

      Commercial Disputes Solicitor

      Share
    • “Travis is the go-to person for renewable energy landowner royalty payments. He gets into the details of a case, and is very tenacious in identifying and recovering any monies owed to landowners.”

       

      Grant Jones,

      Chartered accountant, solicitor and practising arbitrator

      Share
    • ““I would recommend Accounting for Energy because they are clearly experts in this area, and they were good to work with. It was an easy
      decision to get them on board because we really didn’t have the expertise or the time to be trawling through the lease and power purchase agreement.”

       

      Nick Kenyon,

      CEO, Dewlay Cheesemakers

      Share
  • Testimonial with bg

    •  

      “We found your report informative and easy to read, it was good to see how the wind farm is performing
      and we were pleased with the results of the audit”

       

      Mark Charles,

      Exeter

      Share
    • “Job well done”

       

      Sara James,

      Durham

      Share
    • “Early non-payment discovered so very happy with outcome”

       

      Martin Roberts,

      Peterborough

      Share
    • “Excellent service. The review has given me peace of mind”

       

      Tracy Maria,

      Cumbria

      Share
    • ‘We found the report very thorough and really interesting and were pleased
      that the payments have been corrected and appreciate your help with this very much’

       

      David Terrence,

      Devon

      Share
    •  

      “In every instance Accounting for Energy have identified and recovered shortfalls in rent for my clients. Not only do the landowners receive back payments but they are also keen to show developers that they are being held to account.”

       

      Chris Thyer MRICS FAAV

      Land Agent, GSC Grays

      Share
    •  

      “We don’t have comparable leases in renewable energy meaning there are few examples to draw from, so it’s always good to have checks and balances in place. We would recommend Accounting for Energy for their diligence.”

       

      Ali Walker

      Property Co-ordinator, Bath and Wells Diocese, Church of England

      Share
    •  

      “The information provided by the turbine owner seemed to be comprehensive. The issue comes with knowing if all the data is complete and the audit was able to identify areas that we should have been receiving royalties on.”

       

      Ben Ardern

      Financial Controller, Dewlay Cheesemakers

      Share
    •  

      “I worked with Travis on a set of arbitral proceedings to recover unpaid royalties on behalf of the landowners of a large renewable energy site. I was very inspired by his passion for his industry and his tireless commitment to getting the best results.”

       

      Sarah Bishop,

      Commercial Disputes Solicitor

      Share
    •  

      “Travis is the go-to person for renewable energy landowner royalty payments. He gets into the details of a case, and is very tenacious in identifying and recovering any monies owed to landowners.”

       

      Grant Jones,

      Chartered accountant, solicitor and practicing arbitrator

      Share
    •  

      “I would recommend Accounting for Energy because they are clearly experts in this area, and they were good to work with. It was an easy
      decision to get them on board because we really didn’t have the expertise or the time to be trawling through the lease and power purchase agreement.”

       

      Nick Kenyon,

      CEO, Dewlay Cheesemakers

      Share

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