Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund – Bidding window opens

The “up to £160m” fund opened for bids on Monday and remains open until 15 October so if your social housing organisation wants to bid you need to get your skates on.

You will also have to quickly build momentum to deliver the programme in a little over 12 months. The Government (England only) want the cash spent by 31 January 2023 but don’t plan on telling you that you have been granted the funds until January 22.

But whilst it is all very tight the rewards for your residents are worth achieving. The Government have set out the following key aims and objectives for the SHDF Wave 1 competition:

  • Fuel Poverty: Reduce the numbers in Fuel Poverty by improving the energy efficiency rating of social homes below EPC Band C and reducing energy bills.
  • Carbon: Deliver cost effective carbon savings to contribute to carbon budgets, and progress towards the UK’s target for Net Zero by 2050 by reducing CO2 emissions from Social Housing.
  • Tenants: Improve the comfort, health, and well-being of Social Housing tenants by delivering warmer and more energy-efficient homes.

The maximum grant funding for retrofit works are given as: EPC D = £10k, EPC E = £12k, EPC F/G = £16k. It is expected that up to 15% of total project costs can be allocated to administration and ancillary costs. RPs must contribute at least a third of total eligible costs.

In addition, “RPs should ensure that they have an appropriate procurement path in place to secure installers to carry out planned works.  Eligible installers should follow PAS2035:2019 and be approved by TrustMark or equivalent”.

Given all of our concerns regarding the number of firms in the marketplace, and the experience and expertise of surveyors the limitations on the cash begin to make some sense, although the claim that the funds other key objective of supporting the “Green Economy and to “Support economic resilience and a green recovery in response to the economic impacts of Covid-19, supporting thousands of jobs” perhaps looks a little exuberant.

But let’s not look pessimistically the fund is there to allow RP’s to start getting on and developing their approach to decarbonisation the requirements to take a “fabric first approach (of insulation and heat loss prevention measures)” is a good place to start and the Lowest Regrets approach “retrofit… approaches…. should minimise the potential of measures installed through SHDF having to be replaced in the future on the journey to Net Zero for the social housing stock”. Is also sensible.

Bottom line, get your skates on. Read more here

If you need help bidding or managing your programme we would be pleased to have a chat.