Frequently Asked Questions

1. General

1.1 Q: If grant funding isn’t available for 100% of the project costs, can this be combined with other sources of funding?

A: Yes, other sources of funding (such as ERDF, PWLB, capital etc) can be used as long as they are not double-funding the exact same parts of the project. Other sources of funding and value should be stated in the Salix grant application. If ERDF funding is used as part funding, it will be important to not double-claim any outcomes such as carbon savings.

1.2 Q: Where a project is underway or we have recently completed a project, can we still apply for a grant?

A: This scheme is designed to enable new projects and those projects already started or completed are not eligible as they do not meet the additionality criteria. However, if a project is currently underway and that project can be expanded with additional scope, an application for grant funding for that expansion can be made.

1.3 Q: Should VAT be included within the grant application?

A: If the applicant cannot reclaim VAT, the disallowable element should be included as part of the project cost to be shown on the Grant Application Form. If VAT can be reclaimed, it should be excluded from the calculations, as the VAT paid to your suppliers can be reclaimed from HMRC.

1.4 Q: What is the maximum amount a public sector body can apply for?

A: There is no maximum application limit, although Salix may need to review very large applications to ensure deliverability and completion within the agreed timeframe, and a reasonable spread of funding allocation.

1.5 Q: Can I apply to the Grant Scheme for a project that will also utilise the renewable heat incentive (RHI)? 

A: No. Ofgem rules on claiming RHI state that organisations looking to utilise RHI must repay other Public Grants beforehand. Therefore, an organisation would not be able to claim the RHI in conjunction with the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

1.6 Q: Do we have to go through a tender process before submitting our application?

A: Public bodies should follow their internal procurement guidance. It is not required to have completed procurement before submitting an application, however, it is required that cost estimates have been sought. Tender can be completed after application if necessary. To confirm the award of funding it may be necessary to complete the tender process to finalise the scope and cost of the application. In such cases, Salix can issue a Reservation of Funding letter until milestones such as tender have been completed.

1.7 Q. I am only authorised to go out to tender once I know that funding has been approved, can I still apply?

A. Yes, in such circumstances Salix can issue a Reservation of Funding letter which secures the funding, then once procurement is complete, Salix will issue a Grant Offer Letter which is the final approval allowing the project to start on site.

1.8 Q: We provide accommodation for our students; can we carry out energy efficiency projects in these areas?

A: This will depend on who benefits from the energy-saving projects. If the students gain from lower rents or energy charges, then these projects are not eligible. If the organisation benefits and it is not passed to the students, then the projects are eligible. However, if you are a Specialist Further Education College where the accommodation is seen as part of the learning process, this would be eligible.

1.9 Q: How do I estimate the number of jobs that will be supported by my project?* 

A: This value is the best estimate based on the information available to you. There are no minimum/maximum requirements. Whether you are at pre-tender or post-tender, an estimate is still required. For example, an estimate could include several project managers, designers, contractors, installers, etc.  Commentary on your estimate can be included.  

1.10 Q: Can both pre-and post-tender projects be included within the same application?*

A: If you wish to include a combination of pre/post-tender projects in one application, please select the option that applies to the majority of your projects under the project phase. Please indicate the stage at which each project is in the tender process within the application form and supporting information.

1.11 Q: If an application is submitted, is this a formal commitment to proceed with the proposed project?*

A: If your application is successful, providing that an agreement has not yet been signed and that funding has yet to be transferred to you from Salix, it is possible to withdraw this application. Any funding that has been received from Salix, including project consultancy fees, that has already been spent will need to be repaid if the project does not go ahead.

2. Technology, energy saving calculations and criteria

2.1 Q: Can the Grant Scheme be used to fund upgraded specifications on new builds?

A: Yes, where projects are enhancing new-build projects beyond regulation standards or planning consent, they can be included in applications.  

2.2 Q: Can we add new technologies that aren’t currently on the list, for the grant funding?

A: Where an applicant is considering a technology that is not on the technology list, we recommend that you contact Salix and we will consider any technology on a case-by-case basis.  Please note, cases for new technologies must be raised to Salix by the public body interested only.

2.3 Q: How do I calculate energy savings?

A: The Knowledge Share Area on the Salix Website holds a number of calculation tools and good practice documents that can be used to estimate energy savings for energy efficiency projects. The Carbon Trust energy efficiency guides and the Carbon Trust guidance on benchmarking are resources that may be useful in helping you estimate savings covering technologies funded by Salix.

2.4 Q: How do I calculate current energy use if a building is not metered?

A:  A first principle calculation that incorporates typical benchmarks for the type of building in question can be used to determine energy consumption. Alternatively, if energy bills are available these can be apportioned on a square meter basis.

A: Refer to Carbon Trust guidance on benchmarking which provides useful details to assist. 

2.5 Q: Is there any other documentation I can read about energy saving measures?

A: We would also refer you to the Carbon Trust energy efficiency guides and the Energy Services and Technology Association (ESTA) website. 

2.6 Q: What is the definition of site life?* 

A: The site life is the estimated life of the project site or the length of the site lease.  For example, if there is a planned change in ownership or a change to the use of the site where the applicant will no longer see the cost-saving benefits of the project, the end of the site life should be recorded as the date of this change. 

2.7 Q: Can I combine multiple technologies, projects and sites to form one application?*

A: Combining technologies as part of the same project will create an average figure for the compliance criteria of £500/TCo2. This will allow for a greater range of technologies to be used effectively across the project. If you have several sites under the same project, the sites can be combined within a single line of the application form. When submitting a project with a large number of sites, it may be helpful to use a separate spreadsheet to summarise the planned projects for each site. An extended version of the grant application form is available for applications with more than 10 projects. This can be requested by emailing [email protected] and stating whether you require additional lines for Category 1, 2 and 4 projects, Category 3 projects or for Category 1, 2, 3 and 4 projects. 

2.8 Q: Are new builds due to be completed in 2021 eligible?*  

A: To be eligible, the proposed project would need to bring the building above standard building regulations and the newbuild would need to be running and functional in 2021. The project would also need to meet Salix’s additionality criteria. As an example, a key additionality issue would be that the funding offered against a successful application would be the 'cost difference’ between building to the current standard and building to the new enhanced standard. 

2.9 Q: How can electrical infrastructure be funded as part of the grant?*

A: Any electrical infrastructure that will enable work on heat decarbonisation is eligible. For example, increasing capacity in electrical infrastructure will allow heat pumps, which increase electricity usage, to be installed. Examples of measures would be upgrading the: existing switchgear, transformer and cabling arrangements where clients have their own medium voltage supply system. Please click here for further information on eligible technologies. 

3. Payment

3.1 Q: Why is the final payment only being paid out at the end of the project?

A: Good governance of public money requires Salix to be diligent in its use and to ensure it is spent for the purposes given. The final Grant payment is provided on completion and a Completion Certificate being issued by the applicant.  The drawdown of funding will be outlined in the agreed Project Programme on the commitment of the funding. Interim payments can be made prior to completion, where needed.

4. Project completion and delays

4.1 Q: What if we complete earlier than the date we specified in the Application Form?

A: You can submit your completion certificate at any time and will receive final payment once all documentation has been authorised.

4.2 Q: What if the project becomes delayed beyond the completion date specified in the Application Form?

A: As part of the application, contingency should be built into the timescales. Should there be further unforeseen delays beyond this for all or parts of the project, please contact Salix at the earliest indication to Advise. Good project management skills are required to keep projects on track and part of the assessment process is to ensure these skills are available.

5. Working with the private sector

5.1 Q: Can a private sector company submit an online application on behalf of an eligible body?

A: No, all applications must be submitted by the Main Contact at the Eligible Body. However, a private sector company can help you prepare your Application Form and supporting documents. The authorising official on the application form must be from the PSB. The named authorising official will receive an automated email on submission of the online application, requesting their approval for Salix to assess the application.

*Updated November 2020.