Seminar: BRE’s Low Carbon Building Programme Phase 2

As reported by Della Pearlman


The Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP)  is divided into 2 phases:

  • LCBP-1 is for householder, (providing grants of up to £2500) and 
  • LCBP-2 is for Schools, Churches, community and other not-for-prfit organizations, providing grants of up to 50% to a maximum of £200,000.

An extra £45 million was announced in the budget of 2009, with LCBP-2 receiving an additional £35 million of funding.  There will be a £9 million pot for solar PV but other technologies have no limits applied to them. Applications are being accepted until the end of March 2010 for electrical and heat microgeneration, and until March 2011 for thermal energy.

Crossway by Richard Hawkes Architects. Photography by Robert Pike

In April 2010, Feed In Tariffs (FITs) will be introduced, where you generate your own electricity from the following small-scale low-carbon electricity technologies including:

  • Wind;
  • Solar photovoltaics (PV);
  • Hydro;
  • Anaerobic digestion;
  • Biomass and biomass combined heat and power (CHP)
  • Non-renewable micro-CHP.

Under this programme all owners of small-scale low-carbon electricity technologies up to 50kW will be eligible for cash payments for each kilowatt hour (kWh – or “units”) generated and fed  back into the grid.  More on Feed in Tariffs 

In March 2011, the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), is due to be introduced.  RHI will provide financial assistance to generators of renewable heat, and producers of renewable biogas and biomethane.  Details of the scheme have not yet been finalised. However, the following will be key features:

  • It is expected that the incentive will apply to generation of renewable heat at all scales, whether it is in households, communities or at industrial scale. 
  • The incentive should also cover a wide range of technologies including biomass, solar hot water, air- and ground-source heat pumps, biomass CHP, biogas produced from anaerobic digestion, and biomethane injected into the gas grid.
  • The incentive payments will be funded by a levy on suppliers of fossil fuels for heat, e.g. licensed gas suppliers, and suppliers of coal, heating oil and LPG.

More on RHI

Please note that:

  • If you are a recipient of a householder grant, you are still eligible for RHI or FITs.
  • If you receive a LCBP-2 Grant, and then apply for the FITs or RHI, then you may well have to repay the LCBP-2 Grant.


Pay as You Save (PAYS)

The Government intends to introduce the PAYS system, which will loan householders the funds to finance the up-front costs of retrofitting renewable energy systems, in a system of loans and grants, where the savings in energy costs are less than the cost of the repayments.  The government is running a pilot scheme to see how this will work in practice.

More on PAYS


APPLYING FOR STAGE 2 LCBP GRANTS (until March 2010 or March 2011)

 These are allocated on a first come, first served, principle, and are available for public sector and not-for profit organizations.  They include heat pumps, solar thermal, PV, wood-fuel boilers, pellet stores, wind turbines, etc.

 You can apply for 50% of eligible costs, up to £200,000 per site, but the grant does not cover VAT, heating systems, maintenance, retrospective schemes, consultants fees etc. It is only for capital and installation costs, and only new and partly underway schemes can be included.

 The Application Process is preferably online, with confirmation of receipt within 2-5 working days, and a decision within 20 working days. For applications over £100,000 and/or 45kW thermal, it takes 30-40 days.  You need to fill in the application forms exactly as they appear, ( – they admit they will reject any that omit information requested, although you can submit again, if refused), forwarding quotes from a minium of 2 installers, proof of not-for-profit status, and the grant offer is valid for 12 months, by which time the installation must be complete. It then can not be changed within 5 years.

Applications for Biomass boilers, air and water sourced heat pumps, hydro and wind turbines can be processed now. If you are have or are planning to apply for Photovoltaic, Ground Source Heat Pump and Solar Thermal projects, these will be put on a waiting list.

Applications are being accepted until the end of March 2010 for electrical and heat microgeneration, and until March 2011 for thermal energy.

The programme also encourages you to apply for Match Funding from:

  • The Community Sustainable Energy Programme – which is for community projects, and excludes NHS, Learnings and Skills Council, profit making organisations.  This is a more competitive process than the LCBP-2..
  • Project Development Grant – Grants are available for studies investigating the feasibility of installing any combination of microgeneration technologies. The maximum grant available is £5,000 or 75% of the study cost – whichever is lower.
  • There may also be local sources of match funding.

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8 Responses to “Seminar: BRE’s Low Carbon Building Programme Phase 2”

  1. Robert Pike on November 24th, 2009

    UKGBC: Industry must cut carbon emissions by 50 per cent over next decade

  2. Robert Pike on November 24th, 2009

    Sustainability Now Virtual Event. learn and share best practice on green legislation in the built environment

  3. ZeroChampion on December 2nd, 2009

    Good idea, although unconvinced that the UK Government’s implementation will create necessary scale and speed.

  4. Robert Pike on December 2nd, 2009

    Well isn’t that always the trouble with government policy. Needs to be a private sector drive really. Do you agree?

  5. James Bedell on December 2nd, 2009

    I couldn’t agree more! Gov. Regulation generally lags behind the change the private sector can enact.

  6. Robert Pike on December 2nd, 2009

    Do you have an experience?

  7. James Bedell on December 2nd, 2009

    Just looking at the building industry, we can more rapidly deploy solutions than the gov. can craft and pass legislation

  8. Coal Merchant on March 7th, 2012

    Is this funding still available or have they stopped this now?

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