We make it easy for you to get an energy deal that's right for your academy, comparing prices from a wide panel of suppliers and setting up any contracts to save you time and money.
As part of the Conservative government’s plans for education, more schools in the UK are to be converted to academy status. Their target is to convert 1,000 underperforming, local authority-run schools to academy status by 2020. This process currently takes up to 13 months, but under the government’s new plan, the change will be fast tracked to taking just 2 or 3 months.
Academies are state-funded institutions, and rather than being under local authority control, they are run by independent academy trusts – many of which are charities or non-profit organisations. Academy status is typically granted to schools that are deemed to be failing – i.e. rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted – under the control of local education authorities.
Converting to academy status has a number of associated financial benefits, it allows head teachers and staff greater control over the way their school is run, and it provides the opportunity for specialisation in one or more subjects. However, there are sometimes also downsides to gaining academy status, such as the fact that schools may end up unwittingly paying more for their energy bills than they need to.
Where business energy is concerned, academies are granted charity status in the eyes of suppliers, meaning they are entitled to a reduced VAT rate of 5% on some or all of their energy, as well as exemption from paying the Climate Change Levy (CCL). However, many academies are mistakenly not awarded this reduction, and end up paying more than they need to.
Paying the full 20% VAT and CCL usually equates to around one-fifth of a school’s total energy bill – a reduction that academies could benefit from by rectifying the error. Existing academies can also claim a VAT rebate backdating a maximum of four years if they have been paying too much. For instance, if a school converted to academy status three years ago, and had been paying the full 20% VAT rate for that time, they would be able to claim back three years’ worth of rebate. Click here for more details.
If you want to apply for a reduction in energy VAT, or a rebate for overpayment, then you will need to fill out a VAT Declaration Form. Click your supplier below to download the appropriate form:
By successfully applying for a VAT reduction, you will automatically be granted exemption from paying the Climate Change Levy.
It’s worth noting that you may not receive a VAT reduction on all of your energy usage, depending on what activities your school is involved in outside of standard education. For example, if you let rooms in the school for evening classes, then you may have to pay full VAT on energy consumed during this time.
There could also be a few other difficulties that schools encounter in the process of converting to academy status. These may include:
Our energy experts can provide assistance with your VAT reduction or rebate application – should you need it. We can also help you to find out if you are paying too much VAT, and if you are on out of contract energy rates. By comparing the current rates that you pay, we could help you to find a better deal for your academy’s energy. Call 0800 140 4692, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm.
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