The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund: Here’s what we know - thumbnail image

The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund: Here’s what we know

In October 2021, the government announced £3.9bn of funding for the Heat and Buildings Strategy, with £160m of that to go towards the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund. Wave 1 of the strategy has just completed, with Wave 2 set to go ahead in the new financial year. Here’s everything we know about the scheme, so you can be ready for the launch in April.

What is the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund?

The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund was set up to enhance the energy efficiency of socially rented homes. It covers several upgrades to heating, including new heating systems, energy efficient doors and windows and upgraded insulation. As social housing accounts for 20% of the UK’s emissions, it desperately needs to be addressed.

The scheme also came into effect at a time where lots of people in the UK are in danger of falling into fuel-poverty, due to the increase in energy prices. In fact, the SHDF should help tenants to save around £170 every year. The government plan for the fund to not only push forward the prime minister’s 10-point plan for the green industrial revolution, it will also generate work for plumbers, builders, electricians and insulation installers.

Throughout the first wave of the fund, around 20,000 social housing properties with an EPC rating of D or lower will receive a heating upgrade by March 2023. The carbon emissions saved by this process will be the equivalent of taking 6,000 cars off the road.

What is the eligibility criteria?

In order to apply for the fund, the social housing in question must be located within England and within the competition scope. Local Authorities must apply for the funding, though Private Registered Providers and Registered Providers can apply as part of a consortium with an LA in England.

All social housing in England is eligible for funding, whether they are on or off the gas grid. There is no income criteria for this fund, just living in social housing is criteria enough. All measures that are installed into a home must reduce bills in isolation compared to the existing system. Any measure installed must be eligible with SAP, with the exception of fossil fuel heating systems.

What about installer criteria?

Any installer planning to install a measure under the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund must be Trustmark Registered or equivalent and compliant with TrustMark requirements. Installers must have appropriate certifications for eligible measures and projects must be compliant with the most up to date PAS requirements. All of the heating measures installed must be registered with Trustmark or equivalent and be certified with relevant MCS standards. No ordinary home insulation near me will do!

The government has now committed a further £800m to the SHDF project. This money will be spent across three years, to allow more homes to receive decarbonisation measures. We are expecting Wave 2 of the competition to launch in the next financial year, so we should hear more announcements towards the end of March or the beginning of April.

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