Phase 3 Public sector decarbonisation scheme: Frequently asked questions

Updated from our most recent webinars, Monthly Monitoring Reports & Payments, 7 & 8 April 2022

Q1. What happens if the tender price returns are much more than the funding allocation? 

Based on the value in the Grant Offer Letter we cannot increase grant allocations. Grant Offer Letter values are final because the total funding available within the PSDS Phase 3a has been allocated. We appreciate that costs do change so please raise this with your relationship manager if you are concerned.

Q2. What happens if the total invoice doesn't match the forecast amount (within a small variance). Can we request any underspend at a later scheduled date? 

Salix will only be able to make payment based on fully evidenced expenditure. If you are unable to evidence the full forecasted value this will be delayed until evidence is provided. We do ask that forecasting is as accurate as possible and we will monitor the variance on a month-by-month basis to support you to improve the accuracy of forecasts. If there is a small variance between the forecasted value and the value of the actual payment request this can be accommodated however, we will not be able to fulfil payment requests that are significantly higher than the forecasted value. Any costs over the forecasted value will have to be delayed until the following payment period. 

Q3. As we are still at specification stage, and we have not tendered yet we are unlikely to make any claims until July. Can we ask for money in chunks rather than every month? 

Yes, you should forecast according to milestones, there is no obligation to submit a payment request every month. We do require the Monthly Monitoring Report to be filled out each month to report on project progress. You can receive payments in chunks. 

Q4. If our initial technologies have changed slightly following an initial high level design phase (but before a detailed design - i.e. an Investment Grade Proposal (IGP) from a design & build contract), do we need to submit a change request for these technologies considering they may be subject to change again following a contractor producing an IGP? 

If there is a change in the technology then we would ask you to submit that in the change request form. We do this for assurance reasons and that it fits with the compliance of the scheme. If there are slight tweaks, it will be a quick process. 

Q5. How long does it take for a change of scope request to be approved?  

It takes about 10 working days to allow for a scope change, but it may take fewer days depending on your project. 

Q6. If the project is to be re-scoped, do you still use the project mobilisation option? 

Yes, we will need an email from the original Accountable Officer confirming the delegated authority. If we have the name on record that they will be signing off the documentation, then that is fine. You would need to send evidence of this to your relationship manager so that they are aware of this. 

Q7. Invoices might be higher than the amount claimed because of the non-grant cost being paid as well. Are invoices from the principal contractor sufficient or are the sub-contractor invoices required as well? 

Payment requests submitted should be for costs you will claim from Salix as allocated in your grant. As the projects are part-funded with client contributions Salix understands that invoices may cover the total project costs. Please where possible indicate on the invoice or provide a breakdown of how the costs are apportioned to the PSDS grant. The Statement of Expenditure can be used to indicate the value to be claimed from each invoice.  

 

March Payments: Guidance and FAQs

Q8. What has changed?

Salix and BEIS are aware of the risks to project delivery inherent in complex capital works projects and we recognise that the earlier projects are able to start, the more these risks can be managed.  To support grant recipients to manage this and other risks, BEIS has informed Salix that Phase 3 PSDS projects can now spend grant money on works that take place from 1 March 2022, a month earlier than the original grant start date in your Grant Offer Letter. 

Q9. How much can I claim for works completed in March?

There is no limit to how much you can claim for works completed in March, as long as the total does not exceed your forecast submitted by the 25 March 2022.

Q10. I have already planned and paid for works which we had intended to pay for ourselves, can I claim for these?

How clients manage and split the payments for works undertaken throughout the project between grant payments and your own funding is up to you.  The ability to spend grant money for works undertaken in March does not affect this.    

Q11. What process will I need to go through to make that claim?

If you wish to claim for Phase 3 PSDS project works undertaken in March 2022 please let us know as soon as you can, if possible, with an initial estimate of the likely cost of works planned.  

In addition, you will need to provide Salix with an updated payment forecast schedule by 25 March 2022, along with an email describing what works will take place in March and what sites/technologies this involves.  If you do not provide us this payment forecast, you will be unable able to claim for works in March.  

All payment requests for works undertaken in March 2022 must be submitted no later than Thursday, 28 April.  If you do not submit your payment request by this date you will be unable to claim for these works. This is because that is the last date Salix is able to pay works accrued from the previous financial year.  Please note that you will be unable to make a payment claim for a greater value than you submit in your payment forecast schedule, so please make sure this is accurate.  

Q12. How will this impact on my monthly monitoring reports and final payments?

You will need to ensure that the works completed in March and any grant payments claimed for these are accurately reflected in your monthly monitoring reports.  As there is no change to the value of the grant, claiming for works in March will not have any impact on your final payment    

Q13. Will this money be included in the value of my grant or is this extra funding?

There is no increase to your grant value as set out in your grant offer letter.  This change simply allows you to claim for works earlier than originally stated.  

Q14. When do I need to submit this payment request by?

All payment requests for works undertaken in March 2022 must be submitted no later than Thursday, 28 April. If you do not submit your payment request by this date you will be able unable to claim for these works. This is because that is the last date Salix can pay for works incurred in the previous financial year.  Please note that you will be unable to make a payment claim for a greater value than you submit in your payment forecast schedule, so please make sure this is accurate.  

Q15. How will you assess who is being given this authorisation of March payment? How can it be fair at this stage?

This rule change is open to all Phase 3 PSDS grant recipients.  All you need to do to claim for works completed in March is to provide Salix with an updated payment forecast schedule by 25 March 2022, along with an email describing what works will take place in March and what sites/technologies this involves. If you do not provide us this payment forecast, you will not be able to claim for works in March.  

Q16. What happens if the project deviates from the forecast sent in March. How do we deal with the payments changing? 

It is important for Phase 3 PSDS that you link the payments with delivering the milestones to help you with the delivery of your project. It is also essential that they are linked together as this will inform the monthly monitoring reporting submitted to Salix Finance. Salix Finance is required by the government to forecast a month in advance to draw down the funds so that we can make payments to you. Therefore, it is important to work with your contractors and consultants to agree a delivery programme which ties in with the payment programme for works that are aligned with the milestones. This will help the forecast provided to Salix Finance. Please try and avoid any variation between what is forecast and what is claimed, as if it is above what is forecast we may not be able to pay out the full request. The difference will have to roll over into the next month as part of separate payment request. 

Q17.  Is there any provision for projects going past original one year / two-year submission deadlines?

There isn’t any provision on spend. If you have a multi-year project or a single year project, the position on the spend is quite clear in terms of what is allocated on an annual basis. If you are foreseeing there being any risks with the deliverability of your project, it is important to start to engage with your consultants and contractors to see what they can do from their side to bring any works forward. Creating a good working relationship with your contractors is highly recommended. We will also be asking grant recipients to supply monthly reports. This keeps us up to date with how the project is being managed so that we can look at any risks together and support clients.