12 DECEMBER 2011

Nilfisk excel at DEFRA approved Scrubber Dryers

With 50% of the UK’s fossil fuel carbon emissions coming from businesses and industrial processes, the Government had no choice but to take significant action if it was to meet the Kyoto target and cut emissions by 20%.

DEFRA began to work with industry associations to identify areas of potential emission savings. The UK Trade Association ICMMA – Industrial Cleaning Machinery Manufacturers Association liaised with the DEFRA run Water Technologies Group to establish criteria for water efficient cleaning machines.

The result was the DEFRA Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme. The scheme encourages use of green technology by providing tax incentives for companies who purchase qualifying equipment.

The initiative encourages the use of environmentally friendly cleaning machines and in particular water efficient scrubber dryers. In short it encourages businesses to invest in water saving technology.

The DEFRA water scheme allows the whole cost of qualifying equipment to be claimed against tax in the first year. For larger companies the main rate of corporation tax is 28%. When buying scrubber dryers that qualify as water efficient, the purchasing company saves 28% on the cost of the machine. For smaller companies this rate is still a healthy 21%.

Qualifying machines are listed, by model, on the Water Technology List (WTL) and the manufacturer is entitled to use the WTL logo where appropriate.  

Scrubber Dryer water efficiency is measured as the area of floor cleaned per litre of water used – (m2/l).

To become DEFRA approved, walk behind scrubber dryers must exceed 60 m2/l at a floor speed of 1.33 m/s, ride on machines must achieve a floor speed of 1.84 m/s.


All Companies, irrespective of size or industry segment can claim purchase costs against tax in the first year. Claims can only be made on investments in new machinery and costs can include installation and transport expenses.

The Nilfisk group have the greatest amount of water efficient Scrubber Dryers approved on the Water Technology List. Approximately 50 Nilfisk models are now DEFRA certified and can be found listed on the WTL site www.eca-water.gov.uk

Models range from the walk behind BA451 that has a scrub width of 450mm through to the ride on scrubber dryer BR855 with a cleaning path of 860mm. Models are regularly tested by DEFRA to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria and include the benefit of Ecoflex. The Ecoflex concept allows the operator of the machine to match the machines performance to the level of soiling using minimal amounts of water, power and detergent.

Nilfisk Sales Director, Leigh Mason, commented on the DEFRA initiative: ‘We are obviously delighted to have such a high number of models approved on the Water Technology List. This is testament to the valiant efforts of our product development teams over many years. Water is also now a significant cost factor so this initiative fits very well with our total cost of ownership focus.’

End users requiring information may contact the WTL advice line on 0844 875 5885 or email wtl@aeat.co.uk. ​