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Over £550m provided to help public buildings switch to electrified heating

Kew Gardens is one of the 160 public sector organisations receiving funding. Image: DAVID ILIFF (WikiCommons).

Kew Gardens is one of the 160 public sector organisations receiving funding. Image: DAVID ILIFF (WikiCommons).

The government has unveiled £553 million of funding to help public buildings decarbonise by rolling out electrified heating solutions, insulation and renewable generation.

Hundreds of buildings, including hospitals, schools, libraries, museums and leisure centres, have been identified as the recipients of the funding, which will help them lower their bills and their emissions.

“Using cleaner technology to heat our civic buildings is helping to shield public sector organisations from costly fossil fuels, especially at a time of high global prices,” business and energy minister Lord Callanan said.

“This funding will bring significant savings for taxpayers of well over half a billion pounds each year by making public buildings cheaper to run, heat and cool, whilst supporting economic growth and jobs across the country.”

The upgrades – which include heat pumps, electric heating systems, insulation, double glazing, LED lighting and renewable energy like solar PV – are expected to save local authorities, public bodies and taxpayers £650 million per year on energy bills annually over the next 15 years.

It has been awarded through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has already granted funding to 381 public building over the first two phases – with Phase One alone supporting up to 30,000 clean jobs clean heating and energy efficiency jobs, according to the government.

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy first announced the scheme in October 2020, and the first successful projects announced in March 2021 along with the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy.

This third phase will see 160 public sector organisations such as Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Manchester Fire and Rescue and historic venues at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, receive funding to support 217 clean heat and energy efficiency projects.

“The £100m funding that we’ve been awarded so far is helping our public sector to lead the way in this effort, showing exactly what we can achieve with the right investment and a collaborative approach. We’ve retrofitted more than 130 public buildings and cut more than 8,000 tonnes of harmful emissions, at the same time as supporting and safeguarding almost 2,000 jobs in our local economy,” said mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham.

“We hope this is just the start of a renewed effort to work together at national and local level, helping us to go further and faster in cutting emissions and tackling the climate emergency.”

The scheme will be delivered on behalf of the government by Salix Finance. In July, guidance on how to apply for the next round of the scheme, Phase 3b, will be published, ahead of the application window opening in September.

Full details of which public buildings have been awarded funding can be seen here.

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