The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) launched the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund to enable the upgrading of social housing in England which are currently below Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) C. This round of the competition, Wave 2.1, will see £800 million of funding available to local authorities, combined authorities, registered providers of social housing and registered charities that own social housing. The funding will be used to facilitate the installation of energy performance measures which upgrade social housing to EPC level C.
With the SHDF Wave 2.1 bidding window about to open, now is the time to start preparing your application. There are just 8 weeks to submit your response from the window opening, so early preparation is crucial. This will ensure you spend those 8 weeks honing your application to give you the best chance of accessing the funding available. Below are some actions you can take now to get yourself ready for bidding:
Get the basics right
The government have published a lot of information for SHDF Wave 2.1, including a draft application form and competition guidance notes. Go through the application form and guidance notes line by line checking that you meet all the minimum eligibility requirements. It is also crucial to note any gaps you need to address.
Consider how you will fill any gaps
Once you have a thorough understanding of what is required, you need to plan how you will fill any gaps in your application. For example, if you do not meet the minimum bid size of 100 eligible social housing properties, could you form or join a consortium to meet the requirement? If your insurance cover is below the necessary threshold, discuss this with your insurance provider now to see if this can be increased.
Identify your win themes
The BEIS documents have clearly stated, as far as is possible at this stage, what their requirements are for successful applications. You now need to identify your win themes, that is, the compelling reasons that you should be successful that will resonate throughout your application. This could include:
- Added value – how, specifically, will you add value beyond what is being asked for in these documents?
- Innovation – are you doing something differently?
- Managing risk – the decarbonisation of social housing has many levels of risk; can you demonstrably offer peace of mind in this area?
- Efficiencies – while £800m is a large sum of money, BEIS has a responsibility to spend it responsibly and efficiencies will be welcomed
For every claim you make in your application, you need to back it up with evidence. You can be doing this right now – writing relevant case studies, asking clients and residents for testimonials, and collecting statistics about your success stories. The more you can do ahead of the bid, the more time you can spend during the 8-week submission period refining your solution.
Collaborate with specialist partners now to create a successful application and solution
The government will be awarding the £800m funding in February 2023, so there will be a lot of demand on the sector to move projects forward, especially with current skills shortages. Instead of waiting for the launch of SHDF Wave 2.1, start engaging with partners and suppliers now to ensure you have accurate pricing for your application and access to the necessary suppliers to deliver your solution. If you need to form a consortium to strengthen your offer, have those meetings now and establish how you will demonstrate one voice throughout the application.
If you need assistance with writing a strong application, AM Bid can support you now with your preparations, structuring and writing your response. We are bid, proposal and tender experts achieving 80% bid success rates in over 25 sectors. We specialise in telling your story in a way that resonates with decision-makers.