The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) – What Is It And Why Exactly Is It Needed?


Back at the start of October, the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) launched a new scheme through the non-departmental public body Salix. It falls under part of the UK’s broader environmental commitment to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050. It’s known as the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) and it’s set to drastically improve energy efficiency within schools (and other public sector buildings) the nation over.

And whilst not having been exclusively earmarked for the education sector, there’s a good chance that a large portion of the scheme’s funding will find itself headed in that direction. Here at Munday + Cramer, we offer extensive support to schools and other public bodies looking for funding across a range of different schemes. In this blog post, we wanted to look at the PSDS in a little more detail.

The Scheme’s Purpose

The scheme, which comprises one billion pounds’ worth of funding, in total, is designed to help with BEIS’ most recent strategic goals; to fight the Coronavirus, build back businesses, unleash innovation and tackle climate change. The funding is intended mainly to help with capital energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects. In reality, in an educational setting at least, this translates as funding going towards the installation of new heating ventilation and control measures, and the installation of fabric insulation and glazing.

Tomorrow’s ‘Eco Warriors’ – Education And Engagement

While the PSDS promises to help improve the environmental efficiency of buildings within the education sector, the team at Munday + Cramer also want to use the scheme as an opportunity through which to engage the scientists, activists and engineers of tomorrow, so that they too will feel inclined to carry on the climate fight as they grow up. Innovation, after all, more often than not starts in the classroom.

Who’s Eligible For The Scheme?

One area in which this scheme makes a bold departure from many other funding schemes is its wide accessibility. Most funds and schemes (especially those specifically targeting the education sector) come with some kind of eligibility caveat, and end up only actually being available to a relatively small tranche of the sector. This scheme, on the other hand, is open to virtually all public-sector buildings, and almost all schools and maintained nurseries. The scope of the scheme’s eligibility is perhaps an indication of the Government’s desire to gather greater momentum in their journey towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

“I’ve Heard It Being Called The ‘Grant’ Scheme”

We’ve already had people coming to us mixing up terms and confused as to what’s what. The important thing to remember is that if anyone is referring to the Grant Scheme, they’re referencing the PSDS (and vice versa).

Not Just For Schools

As alluded to at the beginning, whilst this funding will unquestionably prove invaluable to schools and nurseries, other areas of the public sector will also benefit. At Munday + Cramer, we’re able to help with those applications, as well. The following are all eligible to apply for funding through the PSDS:

  • NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts
  • Emergency Services
  • Local Authorities
  • Non-Departmental Public Bodies

Compliance Criteria

Applications must fit into at least one of the four following categories in order for it to be considered by Salix:

Category 1

Technologies that contribute directly to the heat decarbonisation of a building. This will be done through the installation of low carbon heating technology.

Category 2

Technologies that reduce a building’s overall energy demand, and that will support future decarbonisation (glazing and insulation, for instance).

Category 3

Technologies that enable future heat decarbonisation projects to take place (battery storage and metering, for example).

Category 4

Technologies to replace coal-fuelled or oil-fuelled heating systems provided that Salix has deemed it appropriate that a low carbon heating system, for whatever reason, cannot be implemented.

Other key details worth noting are that there’s no minimum or maximum grant value available, applications (and any subsequent funding granted) are accessed on a case-by-case basis. Furthermore, applications must show that the project wouldn’t likely be able to take place without this additional funding from Salix, and that installation of the measures outlined within the application haven’t already begun in any way.

This is by no means a comprehensive detailing of the compliance criteria. Rather, it’s an outline intended to show the kinds of technologies the funding will support and those buildings that could benefit. You can find more extensive details of the compliance criteria here.

Important Dates To Remember

The key deadline date worth remembering is 23:59, Monday 11th January 2021. Only eligible applications submitted prior to this point will be welcomed and considered by Salix. Applications are intended to be reviewed and decided upon within three weeks of their submission.

Contact Munday + Cramer

So, if you’d like to find out more about our various schools funding support services, then get in touch! Contact Keith Hunter at Munday + Cramer today on 01245 950 076 or by emailing him directly at keith.h@mcessex.co.uk.