These are exciting times for the energy and low carbon world!
The Government’s much anticipated new Heat and Buildings Strategy has now been announced to great fanfare.
It lays out how the UK will decarbonise its buildings to help the nation hit net zero by 2050 and has certainly created a buzz across the sector.
The Strategy includes new grants to support the replacement of gas boilers with cleaner alternatives, but many of its key elements aren’t launched until next year.
And the one question I’m getting asked all the time by social housing providers is: “Should we twist or stick?”
In other words, should they now sit and wait for newly announced funding pots to come online in April 2022, or should they move now to access existing funding schemes before they come to an end?
Normally, I would argue that it makes sense to plan a well thought out scheme, carrying out surveys, assessments, resident consultation, assessment of funds, etc.
However, with the dust having settled on the Heat and Buildings Strategy and much of the detail now out in the open, it’s apparent that we have a limited window of opportunity.
So, what do we know?
The current Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) – a cornerstone of the Government’s financial support for renewable technology since 2014 – is ending on the 31st March 2022.
Its much-anticipated replacement is called the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) and opens the very next month – April 2022.
However, social housing properties are not eligible for the BUS.
What does this mean?
If you’re a social housing provider with heat pump schemes in development that were not eligible for funding from the Local Authority Delivery programme or a Home Upgrade Grant, then the RHI could be the right fund for you.
The scheme covers renewable technologies like heat pumps and solar thermal systems, making quarterly payments based on the renewable heat generated.
There are no Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) requirements, no limits on household income and no restrictions on certain existing heating systems.
All you need is a current EPC. That can inform you of your likely RHI return, which can by anything up to £10,500 over seven years.
And if finding capital is an issue, then we have an Assignment of Rights partner who is able to offer you upfront funding.
Time is tight though. There are only five months left to apply and counting…