Phase 2 Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund

Welcome to the Phase 2 Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund (Phase 2 LCSF)  

Salix would like to invite you to familiarise yourself with the statement made here by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the Government website in relation to the policy behind the scheme. As the delivery partner for Phase 2 Low Carbon Skills Fund (LCSF), we explain below how Salix will implement the scheme. 

At Salix we have used our learning from delivering Phase 1 LCSF to design the model for delivering this next phase.  We have listened to feedback from our clients, our stakeholders, decision-makers, and other professionals.  We know how important it is to communicate fluently the purpose of the scheme, the criteria for funding and how the application process and allocation of funding will be delivered. 

Phase 2 LCSF builds on the successes of the first phase of decarbonisation skills funding and has a sharp focus on supporting the public sector to take the step towards a low-carbon heating future. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has made available up to £15 million of funding for Phase 2 LCSF that will provide grants for public sector organisations to engage the specialist and expert advice and skills required to put in place or improve an existing heat decarbonisation plan.

The Phase 2 LCSF will be delivered in 2021/22. Unlike Phase 1 LCSF, funding for project development and project delivery will not be available under this scheme. 

The Application Portal for Phase 2 LCSF will open on Wednesday 28th July 2021 at 2pm for all eligible public sector bodies to apply, with a further application window opening on Monday 13th September 2021 specifically for academies and maintained schools to apply. 

Thank you for your interest in the scheme. Below is a summary of the key elements of the scheme. 

If you have any further questions or would like to discuss your application with Salix, please contact Salix’s dedicated support team at [email protected] 

Purpose of scheme 

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 and as these heating systems approach the end of their working lives it is an ideal opportunity to transition to low carbon heating. 

Having a robust heat decarbonisation plan will put organisations in a strong position to take the next steps in decarbonising, including by developing detailed project proposals and applying for any future grant funding for capital decarbonisation measures, or alternative sources of finance. It means organisations can think more strategically and be better prepared for future decarbonisation opportunities. 

The Phase 2 LCSF will therefore provide grant funding to the public sector to put in place or update an existing heat decarbonisation plan. 

Who can apply? 

The organisations eligible to apply are the same as for Phase 1 PSDS. These include: 

  • Central government departments and their arm’s length bodies (set out in the list of departments, agencies and public bodies as published on .GOV.UK here ). For central government departments where their roles are reserved (i.e. not devolved to Scottish or Welsh Governments or the Northern Ireland Executive), funding may be used for estates located anywhere within the UK 
  • 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 
  • Schools funded by charities, private schools, private colleges and private universities are not eligible to apply. 

The Application Portal will require all Applicants to state which public organisation they belong to. 

What funding is available? 

£15 million of grant funding is available. All applications that receive funding in Phase 2 LCSF must complete their heat decarbonisation plans before 31st March 2022.  

BEIS and Salix understand that for many organisations, making an application for funding over the summer holidays can be challenging. Feedback from other funding schemes showed that this is especially challenging for schools who typically shut down over the summer. Phase 2 LCSF will therefore reserve some funding for schools only, that will become available to apply for at the start of the 2021 Autumn Term.

Therefore, the funding available is:  

£11.5 million of grant funding is available at scheme launch to all eligible public sector organisations to apply for (including schools). 

£3.5 million of grant funding is reserved for maintained and academy schools only and will be made available to apply for at the start of the 2021 Autumn Term. 

This should not be considered to set a precedent for any future schemes, where policy regarding application dates will be set by BEIS on a case-by-case basis. 

Applications are also required to be ‘additional’ which means that funding for the heat decarbonisation plan has not been agreed via another source or in Salix’s reasonable opinion, the heat decarbonisation plan would not take place without the Phase 2 LCSF grant.

Key dates and deadlines 

The Application Portal for Phase 2 LCSF will open in two application windows: 

The Application Portal will open on Wednesday 28th July 2021 at 2pm for all eligible public sector organisations to apply. 

The Application Portal will open on Monday 13th September 2021 at 2pm for applications for academy and maintained schools only. 

For successful applications, Salix will look to award a Grant Offer Letter within three weeks subject to a fully completed and authorised application. 

When the scheme becomes oversubscribed with good quality and fully completed applications, the Application Portal will close.  

All applicants awarded funding must complete their heat decarbonisation plans before Thursday 31st March 2022.   

This requirement must be met. The funding for Phase 2 LCSF is only available in the financial year 2021/22. 

There is no flexibility to agree funding beyond March 2022. If your project does not complete before Thursday 31st March 2022, there will be no funding available for the balance of the project. 

Key application details: 

Please find further detail on the scheme and application process below. For further FAQ’s please click here. Also refer to our Heat Decarbonisation Plan Guidance here.

Is there a maximum that any organisation can apply for? 

No. There is no maximum grant value that a public sector organisation can apply for. 

If my organisation was funded in Phase 1 LCSF can I apply again?  

Successful applicants for Phase 1 LCSF are eligible to apply for Phase 2 LCSF. Applicants successful in receiving funding under Phase 1 LCSF for creating a heat decarbonisation plan, can apply again providing their application is for work additional to the work completed under the previous application, for example where they are expanding the scope of their existing heat decarbonisation plan. Applicants will need to provide justification for their application in the Application Portal. 

When do projects have to complete in Phase 2 LCSF? 

All heat decarbonisation plans funded by Phase 2 LCSF must be fully completed before Thursday 31st March 2022. Funding is not available for applications that cannot deliver to this timeframe, and heat decarbonisation plans which do not complete before Thursday 31st March 2022 will be liable for any project costs incurred after this date. 

How will applications be managed fairly?   

BEIS require that applications be assessed by Salix in the order in which they are received on the Salix Application Portal. Phase 2 LCSF requires that applications contain all the information required at the point of submitting the application. If applications are incomplete, do not have the correct authorisation, required supporting documentation or are not submitted by the eligible organisation, they will be removed from the process. Salix will advise the Applicant if their application has been removed and why. Applicants can resubmit their application when they have completed the application fully. 

What happens when the scheme becomes oversubscribed? 

Salix will close the Application Portal when all funds can be allocated and an appropriate reserve list created. This ensures that the funds available will be fully allocated. Some applications submitted for assessment decrease in value, some are non-compliant, whilst some applications are withdrawn. 

What is included in the scope of a heat decarbonisation plan? 

Please see the guidance document for further information on the scope of a heat decarbonisation plan here

Application Portal and assessment process 

During assessment, information from the Application Portal will be used to decide on the outcome considering eligibility, cost, and deliverability. For the cost, Applicants are required to provide information on floor area within scope of their heat decarbonisation plan. Applicants can find this information in a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) for their buildings. For deliverability, Applicants are also required to include hours allocated for preparing a site survey, time on the site and time spent producing the heat decarbonisation plan. This information is required on the Application Portal.  

Allocation of Grants 

The Phase 2 LCSF is not linked to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme or any other funding that may be developed. Funding cannot be allocated to any work that has been carried out before the Grant Offer Letter has been signed by an Applicant. 
 

For further information please contact the Phase 2 LCSF team at [email protected].