Concept’s guide to Phase 3 of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme
If you’re managing public sector estates then you may already be familiar with the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS), which funds low carbon heating projects in public sector buildings.
Phase 3 of the scheme has just been launched – and it opens for applications on 6th October 2021.
Here’s our quick guide to help you understand which projects are eligible, and how you can apply.
What is the purpose of the PSDS scheme?
PSDS provides funding for capital projects which decarbonise heating systems in public sector buildings.
One of the greatest challenges today in meeting the UK’s 2050 net zero target is decarbonising the way buildings are heated. In fact, most of the buildings in the public sector still rely on fossil fuel-based heating. The funding aims to support public sector organisations to move to low carbon heating when existing systems reach the end of their working lives.
Which public sector bodies can apply?
The following public sector bodies can apply for PSDS funding:
- Central government departments and their arm’s length bodies
- Emergency services
- Institutions of further and higher education
- Local authorities
- Maintained schools within the state education system, including academies, Multi-Academy Trusts and free schools
- Nursery schools maintained by a local authority
- NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts
What projects can be funded under the PSDS scheme?
Projects must include the replacement of fossil fuel heating systems (such as gas boilers) with low carbon heat sources, such as air source heat pumps or solar thermal. Crucially, existing heating systems must be coming to the end of their useful life.
The reason is to ensure applicants take a “whole building” approach to decarbonisation of heat in buildings. This means the building should be made as energy efficient as is practical before the low carbon heating is installed. For example, improving the building fabric insulation will reduce the overall size of low carbon heating plant required (and save on fuel bills).
The full list of eligible technologies is on the Salix website.
What is new in Phase 3?
There are two key new elements to Phase 3 of the PSDS:
- No funding cap. Applicants can apply for any grant value they like. However, they must demonstrate in the application that they have the resource and supply chains required to deliver the project by the agreed dates.
- Multi-year funding. A proportion of the funding will cover more complex projects where boilers are expected to come to the end of their working lives in the next two or three years, and where the work to prepare the buildings for low carbon heating needs to start in the financial year 2022/23. For example, buildings may require significant upgrades to their fabric or electrical infrastructure before low carbon heating can be installed. All applications for multi-year funds must state the amount of funding requested in each year, and grant funding will not be able to be transferred between years once the annual amounts have been agreed.
Key dates and deadlines
Phase 3 of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme opens for applications on Wednesday 6th October 2021 and closes at 2pm on Wednesday 3rd November 2021.
Applications should be for projects incurring costs no earlier than Friday 1st April 2022, and no later than:
– Friday 31st March 2023 for single year projects,
– Sunday 31st March 2024 two-year projects, and
– Monday 31st March 2025 for three-year projects.
What is the maximum amount of funding we can apply for under the PSDS?
There is no cap on the value of grant funding that organisations can apply for.
We don’t yet know the total amount of funding available; this will be confirmed after the government’s autumn Spending Review.
How to apply for funding through the PSDS
The application portal opens on 6th October 2021 on the Salix website.
How Concept can help
At Concept we have successfully supported many organisations with Salix-funded projects. Get in touch for advice, or if you’d like to learn more.