What is the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme? | GW Power
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What is the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme?

Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, PSDS Commercial Solar, Decarbonisation for Business

What is the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme?

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) is a funding initiative that supports public sector bodies in achieving their sustainability goals. The funding is delivered in the form of grants and can be instrumental in promoting a greener, more sustainable future by utilising heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures.

These grants make using eco-friendly practises accessible and achievable for many businesses. Due to our collaboration with C3 Group we can now help businesses to lower their emissions and apply for grants to boost sustainability goals more effectively. Our commercial engineers can help government bodies to implement decarbonisation technologies, through extensive installation knowledge and experience. 

The PSDS was created in 2020 with the dual purpose of lowering emissions from public sector buildings and bolstering economic recovery following the COVID outbreak. As of now, the scheme has successfully completed two phases, and phase 3 is currently underway. The scheme’s current objective is to achieve a 75% reduction in emissions from public sector buildings by 2037, thereby contributing to an overall 22% reduction in UK emissions.

By utilising funding initiatives, public sector entities will have the opportunity to integrate modern sustainable energy technologies, replacing outdated and conventional approaches that have negative environmental consequences. The primary goal of PSDS was to assist in the decarbonisation of heating. This meant that all applications had to include a plan for heat decarbonisation or an element related to heating decarbonisation. Funds are now also available for other renewable technologies such as LED lighting. 

Phase 1 (2020-2021)

During this time, the UK needed an economic rebound from the impact of COVID-19. £1 billion in grants was allocated to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, with the aim of bolstering the low-carbon and energy-efficient sectors while aiming to create employment opportunities for up to 30,000 individuals.

Phase 2 (2021-2022)

The second phase of the PSDS allocated £75 million in grant funding. This phase had a stronger emphasis on heat decarbonisation than Phase 1, with the goal of achieving more significant reductions in carbon emissions. It supported the public sector in adopting a ‘whole building’ approach when decarbonising their estates.

Phase 3 (2022-2023 to 2025-2026)

A total of £1.425 billion in grant funding is allocated, distributed across multiple application windows:

  • Phase 3c has a budget of up to £230 million for the year 2024-2025. The budget for 2025-2026 will be confirmed in the autumn, but applicants should anticipate a roughly balanced distribution between 2024-2025 and 2025-2026.
  • The Application Portal for Phase 3c is expected to open on Tuesday, 10th October, at 2 pm.
  • You can access the Phase 3c guidance note and application form on the Salix Finance website.
  • Phase 3b ceased accepting new applications in November 2022.
  • Phase 3a stopped accepting new applications in November 2021.

Am I Eligible?

Phase 3c is open to all public sector bodies in England classified as contracting authorities under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

This includes:

  • Central government departments and their arm’s length bodies, as listed in Public Bodies by the Cabinet Office. For central government departments with reserved roles (not devolved to Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland), funding can be used for estates anywhere in the UK.
  • Emergency services
  • Further and higher education institutions
  • Local authorities
  • State education system schools, including maintained schools, academies, multi-academy trusts, and free schools
  • Nursery schools maintained by a local authority
  • NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts, including NHS student accommodation

Exclusions include:

Public corporations and private sector organisations are ineligible. Registered charities are also ineligible unless they qualify as non-departmental public bodies per the Cabinet Office’s definition. GPs are not eligible unless they are contracting authorities (including NHS trusts) with ownership or long-term lease responsibility for building maintenance, excluding NHS property services, which are semi-private. Social housing is not eligible to apply for the Phase 3c Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.


You can see full project compliance criteria on the official Salix Finance website here: https://www.salixfinance.co.uk/schemesphase-3c-public-sector-decarbonisation-scheme/phase-3c-public-sector-decarbonisation-1

How to Apply

You can apply for the grant through the Salix Finance website:

Applicants are required to download and complete the Grant Application Form, available from the Salix website.

The Grant Application Form is an Excel based form which includes project description, cost breakdown, expected carbon savings, and details on how the proposal meets the scheme criteria. 

How we can help

We partner with C3 Group, experts in sustainability, to provide an end-to-end service. 

Our skilled commercial engineers at GW Power can help to install recommendations and renewable technologies such as LED lighting, heat pumps, solar panels etc. Our expertise spans the entire process, from aiding in decision-making to providing high quality photovoltaic designs and substantiating the energy-saving potential of upgrading your building’s insulation. We work closely with C3 Group to formulate precise solar PV and heat pump specifications. For all of our clients within multi-academy trusts and local authorities, we excel in identifying the most suitable schemes.

We can also help you to fill out your PSDS application forms, making the entire process run smoothly.

Interested in applying for funding and starting your sustainability journey? Utilise our expertise and send us a message

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