LCSF5 Changes

What’s New in the Low Carbon Skills Fund Phase 5?

28th March 2024

How has Salix changed the rules for the latest round of the Low Carbon Skills Fund? Salix has used learning from delivering previous phases of the Low Carbon Skills Fund to drive operational efficiency and deliver more funding to those who need it most.

The most important changes for potential applicants to note include:

Updated Eligible Activities

The scheme has been updated to provide funding for focussed activities to drive decarbonisation effectively and suit each organisation’s specific needs. A new three-stage structure has been created to cover various support requirements. This also helps applicants understand the purpose and outcomes of different activities, and how each Stage compliments one another to create a strong approach to building heat decarbonisation. The stages are outlined as follows:

  • Stage 1: Strategy: In this stage organisations gather the information needed to establish a strategy and plan for decarbonising heat, including prioritising where to start, for example identifying buildings with end-of-life heating systems and where the most cost-effective action is likely to be. Activities include development of a heat decarbonisation strategy, and desktop assessments or building audits.
  • Stage 2: Feasibility: Organisations with an established heat decarbonisation plan and strategy that are looking to develop their plan by conducting works that investigate the feasibility of proposals. Activities include building audits, specialist site surveys, and feasibility studies.
  • Stage 3: Design: Specific sites have been selected and ready to develop detailed designs to prepare for capital works. Activities include investment-grade audits, detailed design and specialist site surveys.

It is worth noting that the guidance issued by Salix is that evidence of the previous stage will need to be provided to apply for the next stage of the above.

Any application that covers activity beyond the strategy stage will need to provide Salix with the evidence that the previous stage has been completed to apply for the next stage of the above categories. Examples of this would be an applicant would need to provide their most up to date estate-wide heat decarbonisation strategies if applying for the Feasibility Stage, or established building specific heat decarbonisation plan if looking to apply for Design Stage.

Assessment of applications in random order

In previous phases, applications were assessed in the order that they were received. To drive efficiency and equity in the funding process, applications will now be reviewed in a random order. The portal will open on 17th April 2024 at 2:00 PM, and close 1st May 2024 at 2:00 PM, after which the applications will be randomised and assessed with Salix’s Technical Team.

Salix hopes to inform applicants that they are successful by the end of July 2024, and all applicants who achieve funding must complete projects by 31st March 2025 at the latest.

Grant Value Ranges

The team is passionate about ensuring project equity. To ensure a broad range of projects are funded, available funding will be divided across three grant value ranges detailed below:

  • 34% of the total Phase 5 Low Carbon Skills Fund funding will be allocated to applications with a value of £100,000 and below
  • 38% of the total Phase 5 Low Carbon Skills Fund funding will be allocated to applications with a value between £100,001 and £500,000
  • 28% of the total Phase 5 Low Carbon Skills Fund funding will be allocated to applications with a value between £500,001 and £1,000,000

Application Form

All applicants will be required to complete and submit an application form through the application portal. To support this process, a scoring framework will be introduced, and all applications will be assessed against the same stringent criteria.

End of life requirement

The Phase 5 Low Carbon Skills Fund will include an end-of-life heating system requirement for some of the activities that are being funded by the Low Carbon Skills Fund For Feasibility Stage and Design Stage activities - feasibility studies, technical site surveys, investment grade audits and detailed designs - the building must be serviced by at least one end-of-life heating system to be eligible. To satisfy this criterion the boiler and/or plant must have either reached the end of its useful life sooner than is typically expected and can be evidenced, or be older than 10 years. Organisations can still include buildings with non-end-of-life boilers when developing activities in the strategy stage; development of a heat decarbonisation strategy, desktop assessments and building audits.

Tenancy arrangements

Applicants must either own the building that is the subject of the application or occupy it under a long-term lease arrangement.

Single applications

A maximum of one application per organisation is permitted.

Ready to start your LSCF5 application? Our team would be delighted to help. Get in touch today.

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