Frequently asked questions

This area will be updated in the run-up to the opening of the Phase 3 PSDS Application Portal on 6th October. Please refer back to this area in the coming weeks for updates. 

FAQs
Updated 13th October 2021 

Whilst our FAQs offer a brief guide and are based on real questions we are asked, we provide full and comprehensive information within our Phase 3 Guidance Notes, see here.

FAQs added on the 13th October 2021

Q: Can grant funding be used for a new building project to upgrade the base specification of a gas boiler to a low carbon heat source such as an ASHP?

A: Yes, grant funding can be used for the costs over and above the baseline cost of installing a gas boiler in a new build project.
 

FAQs added on the 7th October 2021

Q. You would like us to submit schematics as part of the Phase 3 PSDS application. What level of detail does this need to show and how key are these? Our heating system is very old and the schematics cannot be found in our records.

A. We appreciate that many of the heating systems are quite old and you may not have the original schematics intact. Therefore if a full version is not available, please provide a written description of the existing heating system. We need to be sure you are confident that you understand the old system and how it operates. We are looking for this information because we want to see good quality applications. In the event that you are successful in being awarded Phase 3 PSDS funding, providing schematics of the new heating system would be a condition you would need to meet.

Q. How detailed must the feasibility reports and surveys be? What level of detail are you looking for?  

A. We are interested to see any reports and surveys that are provided in your pre-tender discussions with suppliers. This will include any feasibility reports developed at this stage. We appreciate these may not be too detailed at this point but they should be realistic and achievable. Informed and well evidenced applications help our team work through the assessment process. If you have provided a low level feasibility report, you will have to demonstrate how you can move on to a full delivery position, you must show how you will take it through to delivery.

FAQs added on the 4th October 2021

Q) For two-year projects, do installation works need to commence in year one or can year one be consultancy design work only?

A) The PSDS is a capital fund and it has to be spent on capital works. Consultant design fees can be incorporated in to the capital costs of a project but the fees claimed for must be tied to the capital works and must be undertaken the same year that the capital spend is being made. However, you cannot spend PSDS grant funding on consultancy design fees if there is no capital spend alongside it in that year. 
 
Q) Is geothermal considered an eligible technology? 

A) Yes, PSDS funding can be spent on any low carbon technology. If the technology you wish to use is not included within the list of examples of eligible technologies, please contact Salix to discuss the specific details of the project. 
 
Q) We are looking at decarbonising our energy centre. However, the main heating source used is a CHP engine that never has an end of life because it goes through partial rebuilds. I am interested to find out how Salix will apply the grand criteria for this instance. 

A) For a heating plant that undergoes rebuilds rather than replacements, the point at which a major rebuild is required can be considered the end of life for the purpose of meeting the eligibility requirements.

FAQs added on the 1st October 2021

Q) For those unsuccessful in funding for a consultant, how much critique will be applied to our cost-estimations? We haven't had a full feasibility study, but we have an energy consultant giving informal cost estimations. What form can that evidence be, a statement and calculations from the consultant? 

A) We accept applications that are at a pre-tender stage where we will still expect the cost evidence to be provided and understanding that through a full tender process, these costs will be firmed up and quotes from the chosen supplier should be provided. Costings evidence is key to the application and will be reviewed to ensure that the value of money is there within the application. This also extends to other energy efficiency measures that are being applied for where we will require costed plans to be made up and what estimates they have been based on.

FAQs added on 28th September 2021

Q) In terms of ‘whole building’ approach, for example a campus light site, where there may be one heat generator in one building providing heat to a series of adjacent buildings, would those adjacent buildings be eligible in Phase 3 PSDS, or would they have to have their own heating system to qualify?

A) Buildings that connect to centralised boilers via a local interface, such as a heat exchanger or calorifier, can treat the local interface as the building’s heating plant for the purpose of meeting the scheme criteria. For example, once a local calorifier or heat exchanger that is connected to a central plant room reaches the end of its working life, it can be replaced with a low carbon alternative such as a heat pump and therefore it will be eligible for grant funding, even if the main heating plant in the central plant room is still relatively new.


Q) We have no developed schemes for boiler replacement, but we do have schemes to reduce heat loss through building fabric. Can we still apply for Phase 3 PSDS? 

A) The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme funding is targeted at the decarbonisation of buildings where the heating plant at the end of its work and all applications must include an element of low carbon heating. Schemes that do not include any low carbon heating are not eligible.

Q) Is building ownership sufficient for eligibility.  In Phase 1 PSDS we had to be responsible for energy billing - are buildings we own but lease out eligible? 

A) If you own the building, and you are responsible for the replacement of its heating system, then you are eligible for the funding.

Q) As a large NHS Trust with mostly centralised boilers, it is difficult for us to devise a project that will allow us to remove the whole heating system. We can remove huge amounts of carbon by displacing a big chunk of our baseload with ASHP. Can we get funding for this without having to rip out our whole heating system across a large hospital? 

Buildings that connect to centralised boilers via a local interface, such as a heat exchanger or calorifier, can treat the local interface as the building’s heating plant for the purpose of meeting the scheme criteria. For example, once a local calorifier or heat exchanger that is connected to a central plant room reaches the end of its working life, it can be replaced with a low carbon alternative such as a heat pump and therefore it will be eligible for grant funding, even if the main heating plant in the central plant room is still relatively new.

FAQs added on 24th September 2021

Q) How are you defining and verfiying 'end of working life'? 

A) There are a few things you can use to find this out such as consulting the manufacturers product information or industry guidance, such as the CIBSE (Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) guides to understand if your heating system is coming towards its end of useful life. In terms of how it is operated, if the heating system is something you believe is at its end of useful life but may have only been operating or a few years, you need to provide justification around its operation or poor design which might justify why it needs replacing. For multi-year applications, it will then be heating systems coming towards the end of its useful life in the financial year 2023/24. For a three year multi-year application, it will be 2024/25 and when that heating system will come towards the end of its useful life. In addition, justification could be provided in the instance that the heating system is economically unviable; it is costing more in repairs than to replace the system.

Q) If we have a building which has been extended/updated over a number of years and is heated by several sets of boilers, some of which are definitely at the end of their lives and others that may not be, how do we have a whole building approach?  Should we/can we apply for part of the building, even if the building is operated as a whole?  

A) In terms of a ‘whole building’ approach, this refers to the building fabric and reducing the electrical demand which is fine to do as a whole building and you are able to upgrade part of your existing heating system for your end-of-life boilers. You can also leave the other boilers that are not at end-of-life in the building as well. You can apply for those low carbon technologies that will replace the end-of-life boilers as well as additional measures to form part of a ‘whole building’ approach, whilst also leaving the existing boilers that are not at their end of life in there as well.