When the first wave of Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) funding was announced in 2020, Clear Futures partnered with three Greater Manchester local authorities who needed support to develop strong grant applications.
The UK Government and BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) announced the first phase of the PSDS funding in October 2020, giving UK public sector bodies the opportunity to bid for grants from a £1bn funding pot. The scheme provided a key opportunity to unlock public sector decarbonisation projects at a time when public capital was under pressure due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The use of funding was specific: to deliver capital energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects within public sector non-domestic buildings, providing key stimulus to the low carbon economy and delivering significant savings across the UK public estate.
Our work for Bolton Council, Tameside Council and Stockport Council resulted in:
Meeting PSDS deadlines
Each application had to evidence the impact of proposed decarbonisation measures and programmes for delivery – within the set timescale of nine months from any grant being awarded.
Working with local authority teams we pinpointed projects which both supported internal targets for net zero and could be delivered within the deadline. Activities included initial assessment work across each partner’s built estate to determine poor performing public buildings; identifying key opportunities for carbon reduction and operational energy savings; and business cases demonstrating efficiencies and quantifying savings.
All three applications were submitted on time. From there we prepared risk registers, project plans and identified supply chain partners so projects were ready to progress as soon as grants were confirmed – accelerating delivery.
The public sector is under increasing pressure to deliver on their climate change targets and commitments, so we gained full understanding of each council’s specific net zero strategy and journey so far. With the PSDS funding focused on priority buildings for energy efficiency and upgrade optimisation measures, we have gone on to identify larger scale decarbonisation and green infrastructure projects – such as heat networks, solar PV farms and hydrogen farms – to develop projects aligned to key council priorities and ambitions.