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ECO+ Consultation Response

ECO+ Consultation response – have your say and join us on 13 December

The NIA will represent its members by responding to the ECO+ Consultation on your behalf.

You are invited to join our working group to understand your views on the ECO+ Consultation response. The online call will be held at 10am on 13 December and it would be fantastic if you could attend as your feedback forms an integral part of the response, to ensure that it fully represents the NIA and its members.

If you have any comments or input in the meantime, please let us know by emailing info@nia-uk.org.

ECO Plus Consultation – A Helpful Summary

The long-awaited ECO Plus consultation was released on Monday. Please see below a summary of some of the key findings

See the full consultation here and the accompanying press release.

ECO+ will run alongside and complement the existing ECO4 scheme. The main difference is that it will target a wider group of ‘able-to-pay’ households living in the least efficient homes in lower Council Tax bands, who are not supported through other schemes, as well as low-income and vulnerable households who are already eligible for ECO4.

The recent rise in energy bills has put many ‘able-to-pay’ households at risk of falling into fuel poverty, so the new ECO+ Consultation’s commitment to help this sector is much-needed. The NIA has been pushing for more support for ‘able-to-pay’ households to install insulation measures for a long time, so we are very encouraged by the strong emphasis in the ECO+ Consultation document on ‘able-to-pay’ households.

Key points:

  • Scheme will run from Spring 2023 (date not yet confirmed) to March 2026
  • BEIS plans to work with energy suppliers to explore the potential for some earlier delivery in 2023.
  • The value of the scheme will be £1 billion over the 3 years.
  • Aims to support the installation of additional energy efficiency measures in 410,000 households.
  • Estimated savings for consumers of around £310 per year.
  • The ECO4 scoring framework, obligation threshold and approach to suppliers will be mirrored as closely as possible for ECO+.
  • Those eligible will be the same low-income group as ECO4 requirements, but will now consider a wider group that incorporates lower council tax bands (different for England, Scotland and Wales) and properties with EPC D or below.
  • Suppliers will be required to deliver at least 20% of their annual targets to low-income households already eligible under ECO4.
  • The remaining up to 80% of ECO+ funding will go to households that are not currently eligible for existing government-backed energy efficiency schemes.

The consultation promises to ensure that, “government money is prioritised towards insulation measures.” As such, ECO+ will primarily provide single insulation measures for eligible households. There is the option to add on secondary heating controls, but this only applies to low-income owner-occupiers who are already ECO4 eligible. Therefore, the vast majority of ECO+ funding is set to be spent on insulation measures, which is exciting news for us and our members. A fabric-first approach is the best way decarbonise our homes and lower energy bills, so the government’s strong commitment to this is very welcome.

The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 23 December 2022.

The Net Zero Heat Programme will invest up to £5 million

You may be interested in applying for funding via the Net Zero Heat Programme, with applications closing on 11 January 2023. Innovate UK are investing up to £5 million, over two phases, to support ideas and innovative approaches to lowering bills and reducing carbon emissions from buildings. The two phases can be summarised as follows:

Phase 1

  • Includes a total of up to £450,000 for up to 20 projects.
  • Applicants must deliver a feasibility study.
  • The feasibility study for Research and Development contracts will be allocated up to £22,000, inclusive of VAT, for each project for up to 3 months.
  • The timeline is as follows:

Phase 2

  • Α further £4.55 million is allocated.
  • Up to 5 contracts will be awarded to organisations chosen from the successful Phase 1 applicants.
  • Up to £1.5 million inclusive of VAT can be allocated for each contract, to develop a prototype and undertake real world testing for up to 18 months.

There are several considerations and requirements that must be provided. One such requirement is for applicants to work with relevant supply chains to install measures. As key players in the energy efficiency supply chain, NIA members are perfectly positioned to act as supply chain partners for other organisations making bids.

Join our policy mailing list

NIA members are vital to help shape our consultation responses. If you would like to receive draft
consultations for you to provide your input, please email: info@NIA-uk.org

Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

The Chancellor’s Autumn Financial Statement, delivered yesterday, contained a strong emphasis on energy efficiency and energy security. The Chancellor stated that, “Over the long term, there is only one way to stop ourselves being at the mercy of international gas prices: energy independence combined with energy efficiency.”

Energy efficiency and energy security are to be a focus area for the Government with the following key headlines:

  • The government aims to reduce energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030 from 2021 levels. According to figures quoted by the Chancellor, reducing demand by the target of 15% would result in savings of £28 billion on the UK’s national energy bill and £450 on the average household bill.
  • From 2025 to 2028, new funding of £6 billion will be made available to help reach this target. This represents a doubling of the government’s annual investment on energy efficiency.
  • Energy Efficiency Taskforce (EETF) – To achieve its target, the government is launching a new Energy Efficiency Taskforce (EETF), led by Sir Patrick Vallance, which will be responsible for delivering energy efficiency across the economy.

Was insulation mentioned?

Although there was no specific mention of insulation in the Autumn Statement, the Government has been clear that it supports a fabric-first approach to energy efficiency. Therefore, we hope and expect that this fabric-first approach will be reflected in its future policies and the allocation of its newly announced energy efficiency funding.

Insulation is a long-term solution to the energy crisis, so we would like to see this at the heart of government energy policy going forward. While the Energy Price Guarantee offers a temporary fix to the rising energy bills, the NIA will continue to send a clear message to government; that it is imperative that it continues to increase its support for insulation and energy efficiency measures.

The NIA will update you once we receive more detailed plans and spending commitments to accompany the Government’s headline promises.

The Heat in Buildings Supply Chains Delivery Plan: Towards an Industry for Green Heat

In other news, the Scottish Government has just launched The Heat in Buildings Supply Chains Delivery Plan. setting out the practical steps that will be taken to support the growth of the Green Heat sector in Scotland.

The plan’s key commitments include:

✓ A review of support for green skills and training

A new programme of industry engagement with a focus on working with installers in the heat and energy efficiency supply chain

✓ £17.6 million to help research and develop new and concept green heating solutions

More than £800,000 of Green Growth Accelerator funding is being awarded across all local authorities this year to help develop a pipeline of low-carbon infrastructure projects, including retrofitting existing buildings.

It has also promised that it will, “continue to work closely with trade associations and representative bodies to engage broadly with industry”. The NIA look forward to engaging with the Scottish Government on behalf of our members and helping to shape the future of the insulation industry in Scotland.

To view the full plan, click here.

Representing the NIA at the National Residential Landlord Association (NRLA) Landlord Conference

We were delighted to have our Chair Derek Horrocks speaking on behalf of the NIA at the NRLA’s Landlord Conference in Coventry on Tuesday 15th November. Derek addressed a large audience of over 450 private landlords about the numerous benefits of insulation in the private rented sector. He cited research commissioned by BEIS showing that properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of C sell for an average of 5% more than less energy efficient properties.

Derek also discussed the regulations around insulation and energy efficiency in the private rented sector, including the implications of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) for private landlords. He covered the important topic of where landlords could get funding to help install insulation measures and even pointed the audience towards the postcode locator on our website as the perfect place for landlords to find high-quality insulation installers in their area.

The Conference was an excellent opportunity for the NIA to communicate our message about the advantages of insulation to an important audience. Thank you very much to Derek for his wonderful presentation!

Join our policy mailing list

NIA members are vital to help shape our consultation responses. If you would like to receive draft
consultations for you to provide your input, please email: info@NIA-uk.org

NIA News – E-Brief : Welsh Government Approved Document L (Conservation of Fuel and Power, Volume 2: Buildings other than dwellings)

The Welsh Government has this week published a new set of Approved Documents on how to comply with Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) of the Building Regulations Act 2010. The NIA submitted an extensive response to its consultation which you can read here. The Approved Documents take effect in Wales on 29 March 2023 and provide practical guidance on how to comply with Part L of the Building Regulations, which are a legal requirement.

To read the building regulations, click here.

What standards are in place for insulation and thermal elements?

The new guidance raises the minimum energy efficiency requirements for individual thermal elements within buildings by setting out a range of maximum U-value requirements, which thermal elements in new or existing properties should adhere to.

The most significant changes come in the maximum U-value requirement for thermal elements in new buildings, which have been significantly tightened since the last iteration. Page 36 of the guidance sets out the maximum U-value requirements for different thermal elements in buildings. Furthermore, the Approved Documents stipulate that a new building must be built to a minimum standard of total energy performance.

The new guidance also includes some slight increases in the energy efficiency standards for new and replacement thermal elements in existing buildings.

What do the new standards say about renovated elements?

  • The updated guidance does not include any increase in energy efficiency standards for renovated thermal elements in existing buildings.
  • Thermal elements renovated in existing buildings should be improved to achieve or better the U-values set out on Page 40 of the Approved Documents.
  • Elements retained in existing buildings, for example following a material change of use or change to energy status, will only need to be upgraded to the improved U-values if they have a U-value higher than (worse than) the threshold value.

In our NIA consultation response, we pointed out the risk that stringent performance standards for new thermal elements in existing buildings “can lead to the creation of a disparity between new and existing thermal elements, resulting in unintended consequences, such as condensation and mould if not adequately managed.”

We are pleased that the Welsh Government has considered this, so that the Approved Documents make allowances for lesser standards if they are necessary, “in order to comply with Part C of the Building Regulations.”

In addition, the guidance states that, “insulation is expected to meet the improved U-value), subject to a moisture risk assessment”, therefore further addressing the NIA’s concerns.

Are there any trigger points for upgrading energy efficiency?

Another important aspect of the new Approved Documents is the introduction of numerous trigger points for upgrading the energy efficiency of thermal elements in existing buildings. These include:
  • When the renovation of thermal elements is being undertaken.
  • When the material use of a thermal element changes.
  • When the building has a change in energy status.

What are the Compliance Rules?

The Approved Documents also introduce tighter guidance regarding compliance, which the NIA welcomes.

In our NIA consultation response, we stressed the importance of introducing stricter guidance on compliance to close the performance gap and ensure that buildings perform as expected in the design stage, once constructed. We highlighted that, ‘Whilst inaccuracies in modelling can contribute to the performance gap, other factors such as poor construction practices can also lead to a building not performing as anticipated.’

We are pleased that these concerns are reflected in the Approved Documents. The guidance states that, “To demonstrate compliance with the energy efficiency requirements, the standardised Buildings Regulations UK Part L (BRUKL) report should be provided to the Building Control Body at design stage, and the as-constructed (BRUKL) report should be provided to the Building Control body and building owner at completion stage.” These reports can then be used by the Building Control Body check that what has been designed, is actually built.

The NIA agrees with the Welsh Government’s approach to ensure that the highest standards of energy efficiency and insulation are applied to buildings other than dwellings in Wales.

Why are the updated regulations beneficial for NIA members?

The Approved Documents make insulation an integral part of the Building Regulations in Wales. The guidance ensures that insulation is a key consideration, not just in new-build properties, but also when existing properties are renovated, or change their use. Therefore, the publication of this updated guidance represents an excellent opportunity for NIA members and the wider insulation industry to play a central role in the construction and renovation of buildings other than dwellings in Wales.

Join our Policy Mailing List

NIA members looking to play a part in the drafting of consultation responses are invited to subscribe to our policy mailing list.

Subscribe by emailing Fiona.chestnutt@gemserv.com to be added to the policy mailing list.

The Homes Decarbonisation Skills Training Competition and the Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme

£9.2 million funding available to train in the energy efficiency, building retrofit and low carbon heating sectors

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced funding of £9.2 million will be available for training providers to deliver training programmes to support the energy efficiency, retrofit and low carbon heating sector.

Those successful in receiving funding can provide:
  • Installation training to the specific technology standard – for example, National Occupational Standards, PAS 2030:2019 standards, PAS 2035 standards, MCS standards or higher.
  • Training of one or more individual energy efficiency and/or low carbon heating measures so that these can be successfully installed. This includes those with existing construction skills and new to the sector.
  • Support for training in retrofit assessor and retrofit coordinator skills to PAS 2035 standard, leading to the relevant qualification.

How to apply?

1. Read the guidance which is available here. 
2. Complete your application form by 17 October 2022.

If you would like more information, please contact HDTrainingCompetition@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Government Energy Bill Relief Scheme - key headlines

Yesterday the Government announced the new business energy package, called the Energy Bill Relief Scheme. It will provide a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all non-domestic customers, including all UK businesses, the voluntary sector and public sector whose gas and electricity prices have been significantly inflated due to global energy prices.

The Relief Scheme will apply to fixed contracts agreed on or after 1 April 2022, as well as to deemed, variable and flexible tariffs and contracts. It will apply to energy usage from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023, running for an initial six-month period for all non-domestic energy users. The savings will be first seen in October bills, which are typically received in November.

Do customers need to do anything to receive the discount?

No, customers do not need to take action or apply to the scheme to access the support as it will automatically be applied to bills. To administer support, the Government has set a Supported Wholesale Price – expected to be £211 per MWh for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas, less than half the wholesale prices anticipated this winter – which is a discounted price per unit of gas and electricity. This is equivalent to the wholesale element of the Energy Price Guarantee for households. It includes the removal of green levies paid by non-domestic customers who receive support under the scheme.

The level of price reduction for each business will vary

This will vary depending on their contract type and circumstances:

  • Non-domestic customers on existing fixed price contracts will be eligible for support as long as the contract was agreed on or after 1 April 2022. Provided that the wholesale element of the price the customer is paying is above the Government Supported Price, their per unit energy costs will automatically be reduced by the relevant p/kWh for the duration of the Scheme. Customers entering new fixed price contracts after 1 October will receive support on the same basis.
  • Those on default, deemed or variable tariffs will receive a per-unit discount on energy costs, up to a maximum of the difference between the Supported Price and the average expected wholesale price over the period of the Scheme. The amount of this Maximum Discount is likely to be around £405/MWh for electricity and £115/MWh for gas, subject to wholesale market developments. Non-domestic customers on default or variable tariffs will therefore pay reduced bills, but these will still change over time and may still be subject to price increases. The Government is working with suppliers to ensure all their customers in England, Scotland and Wales are given the opportunity to switch to a fixed contract/tariff for the duration of the scheme (if they wish), underpinned by the Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme support.
  • For businesses on flexible purchase contracts, typically some of the largest energy-using businesses, the level of reduction offered will be calculated by suppliers according to the specifics of that company’s contract and will also be subject to the Maximum Discount.

Extra information on the Scheme

A parallel scheme, based on the same criteria and offering comparable support, but recognising the different market fundamentals, will be established in Northern Ireland.
If a business is not connected to either the gas or electricity grid, equivalent support will also be provided for non-domestic consumers who use heating oil or alternative fuels instead of gas. Government will announce further details on this shortly.

Government will publish a review into the operation of the scheme in three months to inform decisions on future support after March 2023. The review will focus on identifying the most vulnerable non-domestic customers and how the Government will continue assisting them with energy costs.

For more information, click here.

Reminder: Membership renewals coming soon

All NIA members will soon receive an email regarding your membership renewal, and we hope to see you return once again!

The NIA has had a fantastic year, including holding its first Parliamentary event, feeding into numerous consultations, and inputting into governmental discussions. Your input is vital to ensure the good work continues, to promote quality and collaboration across industry, so that the challenge ahead can be possible.

The NIA consists of industry experts, installers, system designers and product manufacturers. It promotes high quality insulation in terms of products and service, so that consumers get what they expect and deserve. One of the ways we do this is through our close relationship with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and actively responding to government consultations. To find out more about the NIA membership, please visit our website here.

Join our Policy Mailing List

NIA members looking to play a part in the drafting of consultation responses are invited to subscribe to our policy mailing list.

Subscribe by emailing Fiona.chestnutt@gemserv.com to be added to the policy mailing list.

NIA News – E-Brief : Liz Truss’ Energy Support Package and an update about ECO4 and SHDF

A Summary of the Support Package

Liz Truss’ announcement for supporting households and businesses has been announced today. Key implications for green policy include the freezing of the green levy on energy bills for two years, lifting of the fracking ban, a new licencing round for North Sea oil and gas, and plans to be a net energy exporter by 2040, through renewable generation, nuclear and fracking.

A review of net zero has been promised, to ensure net zero is achieved whilst supporting economic growth.

The package, live from October, is expected to reduce inflation by 5%, which cuts the current rate of inflation in half.

Is ECO4 or SHDF affected?

BEIS has confirmed that the Energy Company Obligation and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Wave 2.1 will continue to operate as per the regulations and the operation of these schemes, and is not directly affected by today’s announcement.

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact the NIA (details below).

Key Headlines

Households

  • Energy Price Cap to be set at £2500 annually for the average home, saving £1000 annually for households, as agreed with energy price retailers. This is in addition to the £400 previously promised. Those on heat networks, park homes and heating oil will have a separate fund.
  • A new Energy Price Guarantee will enable this by limiting the price which suppliers can charge customers per unit of gas.
  • Applies to Great Britain. Northern Ireland will experience the same level of support.

Businesses 

  • Businesses, charities and public sector organisations will have their energy costs capped for six months. This is to be capped at the same price per unit that households pay. This will be reviewed in three months to see if vulnerable sectors should be targeted.
  • Liz Truss called for businesses to focus on energy efficiency to reduce bills further.

Funding the support

  • There will be no further windfall tax.
  • Kwasi Kwarteng to release the expected costs of the support package later this month. Cost projections are uncertain but are expected to be in the range of £100-£150 billion.

Future energy supply

  • Announcement of a new Energy Supply Taskforce. This includes long-term contracts with gas suppliers, a new licensing round for North Sea Oil and Gas and increased deployment of hydrogen, solar, CCUS and wind. Nuclear is to enter the Contracts for Difference scheme.
  • Energy regulation review to address supply and affordability in the long run.
  • Review of net zero to ensure net zero is achieved whilst growing the economy.
  • Ban on fracking removed. Will pursue fracking where there is local support.
  • Ensure UK is a net energy exporter by 2040. Business security to set out a plan within the next two months. This is to be achieved through the expansion of nuclear, fracking and renewable energy generation.

Reminder: membership renewals coming soon

All NIA members will soon receive an email regarding your membership renewal, and we hope to see you return once again!

The NIA has had a fantastic year, including holding its first Parliamentary event, feeding into numerous consultations, and inputting into governmental discussions. Your input is vital to ensure the good work continues, to promote quality and collaboration across industry, so that the challenge ahead can be possible.

The NIA consists of industry experts, installers, system designers and product manufacturers. It promotes high quality insulation in terms of products and service, so that consumers get what they expect and deserve. One of the ways we do this is through our close relationship with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and actively responding to government consultations. To find out more about the NIA membership, please visit our website here.

Join our Policy Mailing List

NIA members looking to play a part in the drafting of consultation responses are invited to subscribe to our policy mailing list.

Subscribe by emailing Fiona.chestnutt@gemserv.com to be added to the policy mailing list.

NIA News – E-Brief : Liz Truss appointed as Prime Minister, summary of her policy positions.

Liz Truss has officially been appointed Prime Minister with 57.4% of the vote.

Here is a brief email summary of her policy positions (specifically on decarbonisation, net zero and cost of living) followed by a timeline of upcoming events.

What does Liz Truss say regarding decarbonisation?

  • Truss has announced interest to enforce a temporary moratorium on the green energy levy, and has indicated support to lift the ban on fracking, offshore oil and gas developments. She is expected to issue up to 130 new oil and gas drilling licenses in the North Sea. She has shown interest in investing in new nuclear, and furthermore so with her likely Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng who is supportive of new nuclear projects like Sizewell C.
  • Although there have not been any comments on hydrogen policy, Truss has shown support for hydrogen blending within the gas network
  • She has criticised the use of onshore wind and solar power as part of the UK’s energy mix. It has also been reported that her Government will consider capping the price at which wind and solar energy can be sold into the UK grid by produced, with aim of restraining rising costs

And her opinion on Net Zero...

  • Truss has pledged to maintain the commitment to Net Zero by 2050 and is highly supportive of new UK developed technologies and manufacturing related to Net Zero.
  • She has shown interest to review the EU’s habitat directive and develop stronger Britain-focussed biodiversity targets.

And finally, what does Truss say about the cost of living?

  • Cost of living has been considered a key priority and her team is working with officials to make an announcement ahead of October.
  • Truss has shared her intention of a temporary moratorium on the green levy for two years however, she has not committed to matching the spending.
  • In the past week, it has been widely reported that Truss is planning to freeze energy bills. However, it is unclear what this entails. This may include eliminating VAT or extending the existing household handouts.
  • Beyond this, Truss has not provided concrete details of her plans to address the cost of living.

A Timeline of Government’s Upcoming Events

With so much going on, please see the below summary of the upcoming government events.

6th September
Her speech today will provide insight of new government priorities
Appointing of cabinet and senior departmental ministers

7th September
Further ministers to be appointed

11th September 
All ministers to be appointed

Before 2nd October 
A fiscal event to address cost of living and energy challenges

2nd October to 5th October
Conservative Party Conference

17th October
Parliament returns in full following party conferences

Coming soon: Membership Renewal

All NIA members will soon receive an email regarding your membership renewal, and we hope to see you return once again!

The NIA has had a fantastic year, including holding its first Parliamentary event, feeding into numerous consultations, and inputting into governmental discussions. Your input is vital to ensure the good work continues, to promote quality and collaboration across industry, so that the challenge ahead can be possible.

As a gentle reminder, the NIA consists of industry experts, installers, system designers and product manufacturers. It promotes high quality insulation in terms of products and service, so that consumers get what they expect and deserve. One of the ways we do this is through our close relationship with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and actively responding to government consultations. To find out more about the NIA membership, please visit our website here.

Join our Policy Mailing List

NIA members looking to play a part in the drafting of consultation responses are invited to subscribe to our policy mailing list.

Subscribe by emailing Fiona.chestnutt@gemserv.com to be added to the policy mailing list.

Fiona Chestnutt, Policy Advisor, featured on BBC Radio 4 ‘You & Yours’ Energy Special

Fiona Chestnutt, Policy Advisor, featured on BBC Radio 4 'You & Yours' Energy Special

I was delighted to join Winifred Robinson on Radio 4’s ‘Yours and Yours’ on Monday 15th August, to speak on behalf of the National Insulation Association and talk about insulation.

The cost of energy prices has never been spoken about as much, and with rises of energy costs expected to further rise in October, and potentially into 2023, there is warranted concern amongst the population. Insulation is relevant to this debate, as it is one way to significantly reduce the energy demand of a property. This brings benefit to the homeowner, who needs less energy to heat the building, but also contributes to net zero and decarbonisation targets.

The NIA consists of industry experts, installers, system designers and product manufacturers. It promotes high quality insulation in terms of products and service, so that consumers get what they expect and deserve. One of the ways we do this is through our close relationship with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and actively responding to government consultations. To find out more about the NIA, please visit our website here.

I spoke to Winifred about the benefits of insulation, the various types, and how consumers go about making sure they are installing the right measure for their property, at the right level of quality so that they achieve the desired outcome. Step one would be for a consumer to find an accredited installer. The NIA has a postcode locator, where installers nearby can be located, many of which are accredited. The second step to add extra surety, would be to accrue a retrofit coordinator. This is an accredited professional who will undertake an audit of your property and advise of the correct measure that should be installed, as well as making sure the materials and service is accredited to the PAS 2035 standard. This essentially means that the necessary standards are being followed so that the homeowner experiences the desired outcome. To find a retrofit coordinator, please visit the Retrofit Academy website here.

Insulation is only set to become a more important form of energy efficiency measure for homeowners, and the NIA will support government to ensure that it is a viable means to deliver benefit to home owners and occupiers.

Click below to listen back to the episode on BBC Sounds.

BBC Radio 4 Energy Special

NIA News – E-Brief

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme Phase 3B: Applications due to open in September

Phase 3b of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) is due to open to applications in September 2022 and up to £635 million is available. This is to be spent across financial years 2023/24 (£402 million of funding) to 2024/25 (£233 million of funding).

PSDS 3D Guidance

What is it? 

The PSDS provides grant funding for heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures for organisations within the public sector. It should be noted that heat decarbonisation remains the primary focus of the scheme.

How does it differ to Phase 3a? 

There have been refinements, namely: a proportion of funding is available for projects delivered over multiple years or more; a focus on cost effective heat decarbonisation; and emphasis on achieving savings in carbon emissions. There are also new additions to the guidance.

What are the new additions? 

  • Sector soft caps – these are to ensure the fair allocation of funding across the public sector. This is based on carbon emission distributions across sub-sectors (find more information in Phase 3b PSDS Technical Annex here. See Page 3 in the PSDS Phase 3b Guidance for how the sector soft caps will work.
  • Multi-year applications. PSDS Phase 3b funding is available across financial years 2023/24 and 2024/25.
  • Planning year. PSDS Phase 3b funding can be applied for projects requiring expenditure in 2024/25, by using 2023/24 as a year to plan. This is to improve certainty in funding commitments.
  • Applicant contribution. Applicant funding should be equivalent to the like-for-like costs of replacing their fossil fuel heating systems. This cost must be 12% of total project costs as a minimum and evidenced. If the cost is below this percentage, the applicant must make up the funding to 12%. If the cost percentage is above, the applicant must still contribute the full like-for-like replacement costs. For example, if 20% of total project costs is like-for-like, the applicant must fund the full 20%.
  • ‘Whole building’ approach. This applies only to the buildings and parts which are being heated by the proposed low-carbon heating system, and the building expected to host the system. Buildings not served by the proposed low-carbon heating system are not eligible for measures under PSDS Phase 3b.
  • Energy efficiency cap. The maximum grant proportion is 58% of total grant costs per application for energy efficiency measures.

 

Where does insulation fit in? The primary focus remains heat decarbonisation, however it promotes a whole building approach, and a fabric first approach is supported particularly where the low-carbon heating system is serving.

It also says that if the building’s heat or electricity demand can be reduced by energy efficiency measures and other enabling works, they can be included in an application for funding.

The guidance does support that heat demand within the building should be reduced, where cost-effective and practical, before installing new low-carbon heating measures.

To read the guidance, please click here

Key Dates

  • September 2022: Application Portal opens. This will close when the budget has been met through the applications.
  • January 2023: Outcomes of funding, including the announcement of successful projects.
  • 31 March 2024: Projects awarded funding for a single year must be completed.
  • 31 March 2025: Projects awarded funding for multiple years must be completed.

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you to those who provided their feedback on the consultation response for the Welsh Housing Quality Standard 2023. This has now been submitted. Your feedback is much appreciated and helps to shape and influence industry.

Join our policy mailing list!

NIA members looking to play a part in the drafting of consultation responses are invited to subscribe to our policy mailing list.

Subscribe by emailing Fiona.chestnutt@gemserv.com to be added to the policy mailing list.

NIA News – E-Brief

22nd July 2022 - Competition Guidance is released for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund: Wave 2.

As promised, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has released guidance for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Wave 2.

The £800m two year scheme aims to install energy performance measures in social homes in England. It was developed as part of the 2021 Spending Review Settlement and will look to tackle fuel poverty, reduce carbon emissions, improve comfort in the home whilst also developing the retrofit sector and supporting the green economy.

What does the guidance say?

The guidance provides an overview of the key headlines of Social Housing Decarbonisation, outlines the differences between Phase one and Phase two, talks about the funding available, and also gives additional considerations and an indicative timescale.

The next key date to be aware of is early August, when BEIS intends to release Application forms, further FAQs, Grant Funding Agreements, Grant Offer Letters and Data Sharing Agreements. The competition is then set to launch at the end of August, closing 8 weeks after it launches.

To read the guidance, please click here.

What are the performance and delivery considerations?

These are as follows:
  • Homes must reach EPC rating C (with exceptions for F/G rated homes that cannot reach this level
  • Installers must be TrustMark accredited
  • PAS2035 must be used to ensure quality and safety

Feedback to the NIA’s response on Welsh Housing Quality Standard 2023

Thank you to those who have provided their feedback on the draft consultation response for the Welsh Housing Quality Standard 2023. The deadline for those who have yet to respond is 27th July 2022. Your feedback helps to shape and influence industry, and your input is much appreciated.

If you haven’t received this but would like to, please email Fiona.chestnutt@gemserv.com to be added to the policy mailing list. Any questions please let me know.