A £10 million social housing competition aimed at improving energy efficiency across the UK is open for applications.

The scheme intends to install low carbon forms of heating like biomass boilers, solar hot water panels and heat pumps in the homes of social housing tenants.

Following the success of the first competition under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme last year, DECC has now launched a bigger and better second round.

Energy & Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “Last year our low carbon heating scheme for social landlords helped nearly 1000 householders stay warm and reap the benefits of clean, green heat.

“This year we have increased the cash available, which will help even more people move away from expensive old heating systems to low carbon more sustainable alternatives.”

The amount of money available has increased by £7 million, with more time for social landlords to apply. Registered providers for social housing such as local authorities and social housing associations will be able to bid for up to around £175,000 each.

George Lonie, chair of the Hebridean Housing Partnership (HHP), a previous social landlord winner, said: “The award of £175k from DECC enabled HHP to install 28 Air Source Heat Pumps which has made a considerable difference to people’s lives and has contributed to lifting some of our tenants out of fuel poverty. The funding has also enabled HHP to install energy display devices to enable both tenants and HHP to monitor household electricity costs.” 

Bids will be evaluated by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) on criteria such as value for money, type of fuel being replaced, energy efficiency measures to be installed and track record on delivering similar projects. Final decisions on the number of projects funded under this competition will be made by a DECC panel of experts.

Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the EST, said: “The opening of the second round of applications for the RHPP scheme for social landlords is great news for social housing tenants across Great Britain. The scheme offers real value to tenants as not only does it help them save money on their energy bills, but also helps them to reduce their energy usage.”

Interested applicants can apply online. The closing date for applications is 4th July. DECC is hosting a number of seminars across the country to provide further information on the scheme and would encourage potential applicants to attend.

These are being held on:

30th May: Glasgow, Scotland

30th May: Durham, England

8th June: Manchester, England

12th June: Newtown (Powys), Wales

14th June : Exeter, England

19th June : Norwich, England

DECC hopes to support around 60 projects this year and will notify successful bidders in early August. The RHPP community scheme, as announced in March this year, will be launched later this summer.