SHDF Wave One – What You Need To Know

The eagerly awaited details surrounding the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) wave 1 has been released by the UK government.

The SHDF wave one documentation lays out an in-depth breakdown of the fund and the compliance requirements involved.

Applicants & Approach

Eligible applicants are those who are Registered Providers of Social Housing, including Private and Local Authority providers. Said applicants must implement a fabric first with the lowest regrets approach, ensuring a dwelling is EPC C or EPC D where the current EPC is F/G.

Lowest Regrets: The approach to retrofit taken should minimise the potential of measures installed through SHDF having to be replaced in the future on the journey to Net Zero for the social housing stock.

Instead of the previously thought target of 50 kwh/m2/year, Housing associations are required to improve properties to a space heating demand target of 90 kwh/m2/year.

The social impact that projects will have is a key focus that has been woven into the entire document. Measures installed should reduce a tenant’s energy requirement to heat the property, helping tackle fuel poverty and supporting healthier, warmer, energy-efficient homes.


The maximum funding available for a retrofit project is dependent upon the current EPC the dwelling holds. The amounts are as follows;

·        EPC D = £10k

·        EPC E = £12k

·        EPC F/G = £16k

To note: “A single measure may not be funded by multiple schemes (e.g. ECO, Sustainable Warmth), but multiple funding sources can be used as long as not on the same measure.”

In case you missed the recent news, the Social Housing Retrofit Accelerator (SHRA) programme is available to provide technical support to registered providers of social housing wishing to apply.

Points of Discussion

The new guidelines surrounding the SHDF wave one raise some interesting points of discussion in the treatments of projects.

One point of contention, in particular, is surrounding Shared Ground Loops. According to the documentation, “BEIS reserves the right to prioritise the allocation of funding for Shared Ground Loops in applications that are compliant with all requirements”.

The interpretation of the statement offers the perspective that Shared Ground Loops could be prioritised over other measures.

Another point is the required PAS2035 compliance. The potential ability to bypass aspects of the PAS2035 process could lead to industry-wide non-complaint retrofit projects.

Interestingly enough, the documentation also highlights the prohibition on replacing high-carbon heating systems with low-carbon alternatives.

This can only be done where bills will be reduced regardless of other measures. Except in exceptional circumstances, this effectively rules out gas-to-electric swaps. SHDF is clearly intended to fund fabric upgrades in preparation for future low-carbon heating upgrades as part of landlords’ future asset management programmes (i.e. self-funded!).

The key dates involved in the programme are as follows;

·        Competition launch 23rd August 2021

·        Deadline for questions from applicants 3rd September 2021

·        Deadline for submission of proposals 15th October 2021

·        Notification of Competition Awards By end of December 2021

·        Grant Awards January 2022

Project closure 31st January 2023