Phase 4 Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund: Portal to Open at 2pm on 26th April

Salix Finance has announced that Phase 4 of the Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund (Phase 4 LCSF) will be open for applications on Wednesday 26th April at 2pm. The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has set aside £17 million with the goal being to best prepare public sector bodies for the next round of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, later in the year.

For this round of LCSF, there are three funding options:

  1. Funding to develop or improve a heat decarbonisation plan incorporating any output outlined in the scheme criteria section.
  1. Develop standalone detailed design(s) from pre-existing heat decarbonisation plan(s).
  1. A combination of options one and two above, to develop or improve a heat decarbonisation plan(s) and develop a standalone detailed design(s) from a pre-existing heat decarbonisation plan(s).

The HDP Purpose

As per Salix’s announcement, the purpose of acquiring an HDP is as follows, “[an HDP] will help organisations to think more strategically about decarbonisation opportunities, and work through the planning lifecycle up to and including the development of detailed project proposals that are cost effective, aligned with their organisational decarbonisation strategy, and ready to be funded, including through an application for other grant funding schemes.”

The Funds

In an effort to provide the opportunity for funding to be allocated to a wider range of projects, a funding cap has been introduced, dividing the £17 million into three grant value ranges (including an overall grant value cap of £1,000,000):

  • 34% of funding for projects up to £100,000.
  • 38% of funding for projects between £100,001-£500,000.
  • 28% of funding for projects between £500,001-£1,000,000.

To date, grants have been used to pay for plans in full, meaning no client contribution is required. This remains the case for Phase 4 LCSF.

Key Dates

  • Early April – Applicants to register on Salix LCSF4 website. (We can register as well, as consultants. Needs to be done on an individual basis. But we can’t submit grant apps on behalf of clients).
  • 26th April at 2pm – Portal opens. It is critical that applications are submitted as soon after 2pm as possible otherwise the chances are the budget will already be oversubscribed. Therefore, early prep is essential well before 26 April.
  • From June – Grant Offer Letters (GOL) being issued.
  • By 14th July – All GOLs awarded.
  • 28 March 2024 – All grants to be spent.

In Autumn 2023, PSDS3c is expected to be similarly announced, with the main focus being heat decarbonisation, but the scheme will also pay for related capital works that are necessary to enable the heat decarbonisation to be done cost-effectively.

If you are interested in submitting an application to Phase 4 LCSF, please contact us at ReEnergise. We will provide free technical support to grant applications, plus advice on crafting the language in the various application boxes, increasing your chance of a successful application.

To read the full Salix Finance Phase 4 LCSF announcement, click here.

ReEnergise Attends the AGBIS Annual Conference and the GSHPA Members Day

Doubling up for the first shows of the year: two events, two days, and two ReEnergise employees. At the end of March, Nigel and Ollie attended both the AGBIS Annual Conference and the inaugural GSHPA Member’s Day.

At the AGBIS Annual Conference, Nigel and Ollie had the opportunity to speak with many independent school governors who were keen to learn how their respective schools could reduce their carbon emissions. It was very encouraging to see how engaged school governors are on such an important topic, and many were interested to understand how a school starts its net-zero journey. They were therefore able to discuss decarbonisation plans, and why this is the best place to start. Nigel held a breakout session where he delivered the first presentation of his three-part series titled ‘How to be a Net-Zero Savvy Governor.’ Part 2 is coming up soon, and the ReEnergise team is looking forward to holding a practical session on the 11th May at St George’s, Weybridge.

The GSHPA Members Day was equally enlightening, with various panels discussing the intricacies of ground source heat pumps. Across 4 talks, they heard from experts who spoke on the best application of these systems. Nigel was part of a discussion panel and shared his insight into why some schools are wary of heat pumps: how horror stories from other schools can result in unfortunate misunderstandings. In reality, a ground source heat pump can bring plenty of long-term savings if implemented correctly and appropriately.

This is where ReEnergise comes in. We can assist with seeing the wood for the trees and ensure that your school makes the right decisions when it comes to decarbonisation. Our team can guide you through every step of the process, from the initial benchmarking and the technically choreographed estate decarbonisation plan, right up to project managing the installation.

Overall, it was a week full of insightful conversations and interesting talks. It will be great to see everyone attending the Education Estates Net-Zero Conference next month!

The April 2023 Energy Bills Discount Scheme. What do Schools Need to Know?

Out with the old, in with the new. On the 1st April, the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) ended, and non-domestic energy contracts have automatically been moved onto the newly announced Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS). This means that any school who signed their energy contract on/after the 1stDecember 2021 were already be on the EBRS and therefore have transitioned to the EBDS. Unlike its predecessor, the EBDS will instead run for 12 months (until March 2024), rather than 6.

However, despite their similar names, the EBDS is much less akin to the outgoing EBRS.

The important thing to remember is that this is no longer an energy price cap, rather a discount on energy unit rates.  This does unfortunately mean that the EBDS is far less supportive for schools. Despite this, it is still important to understand the new scheme in order to budget effectively in the new financial year. Here is how the EBDS works:

From April, your electricity bill discount is now limited to 1.961p per kWh, with a minimum price threshold of 30.2p per kWh, and your gas bill discount, limited to 0.697p per kWh, with a price threshold of 10.7p per kWh. If your unit rate is less than these thresholds, you will not be eligible for the discount.

It is important to note that the final per unit price paid by non-domestic customers will differ since it will also reflect other costs such as network charges and operating costs, plus the impact of competition between suppliers.

To find out more, visit: