On Monday 13 June, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) held an event for local authorities, combined authorities and registered providers of social housing. It set out to explain how they could apply for funding to improve the energy performance of their properties.
The funding is available under the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Wave 2. This will be divided into separate tranches, the first of which will have a value of up to £700 million. The works funded by the scheme will bring properties up to a minimum EPC rating of “C”.
At the event, speakers defined a timeline for how proposals would be invited by way of a competition. This timeline is shown below:
Guidance published: July / August 2022
Competition launch: Late August / early September 2022
Competition close: 8 weeks after launch
Bid assessment ends: End of November 2022
Successful projects notified: January 2023
Grant funding agreements signed with successful applicants / projects start: March 2023
BEIS notes that although the competition itself will not open until late August or September, social housing providers are encouraged to “begin preparing applications now.”
SBS: Support with Applications
As a leading specialist in delivering decarbonisation schemes to the latest PAS standards, SBS is well placed to help local authorities and housing associations to prepare competition bids.
We are delivering a number of very successful schemes under the original SHDF Demonstrator scheme and under Wave 1. As we previously reported, some of these have been made the subject of site visits by staff from BEIS and Trustmark - e.g. in Reading and in Uttoxter. Another of our energy efficiency schemes was also made the subject of an online masterclass by the Social Housing Retrofit Accelerator scheme, which demonstrated the benefits of larger scale retrofit projects.
On these and other projects, we have consistently shown that early engagement with key stakeholders and suppliers is vital; it helps clients to achieve much greater cost-certainty and on-site efficiency. It’s important that all parties know the expected outcomes and have a clear, team-wide idea of how those outcomes will be achieved. This is key to ensuring that budgets are used effectively and that the maximum numbers of residents benefit from the works.
Too often, since the introduction of the new PAS standards, a lack of clarity on the part of inexperienced stakeholder teams has led to an under-estimation of costs and timescales. This is because the groups involved haven’t been familiar with the demands of the process, nor how to deliver multiple measures in a timely and efficient way. As a result, costs can escalate and the number of treated properties has to be reduced.
As an experienced decarbonisation contractor, SBS helps clients to avoid such problems. We can provide support from the very earliest pre-bid and bid-preparation stages; helping with everything from property assessments, the identification of appropriate measures, budget costings and effective liaison with other potential supply chain partners. The result is much greater certainty on costs (offered on a price-per-property basis), on project timescales and on the effectiveness of the various decarbonisation measures themselves.