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Frequently Asked Questions
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Projects and Eligibility
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1. I thought that LEEF was only available to the public sector?

LEEF is now open to the Private Sector as well as the Public, Voluntary and Third Sector bodies including Private Sector Landlords, Owner-Occupiers, Tenants, Developers, Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) and Joint Ventures/Special Purpose Vehicles

2. Which entities can borrow from LEEF?

Private or Public Sector Bodies, Private Sector Developers /Landlords, Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) and Joint Ventures/ Special Purpose Vehicles can all borrow money from LEEF as long as this is spent on eligible EE works

3. What technologies are eligible for LEEF?

A wide range of Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) can be funded by LEEF (the current list may be found here). If you are considering alternative technologies, please contact the team to see if this can also be included

4. What does 'building integral' mean?

LEEF is focused on retrofit works to existing buildings, and for this reason projects need to be based on a specific premises, or be related to a specific group of buildings (for example a university campus, a hospital site or a housing estate). At the present time LEEF cannot therefore support large scale, multi-site standalone decentralised energy, although this may be added to the LEEF remit over time. Smaller scale combined heat and power within a campus or site is likely to meet the criteria. If there are any queries please do contact the LEEF team for a discussion

5. Can LEEF fund green technologies in new buildings?

LEEF's core objective is to help facilitate improvements to existing building stock. Where extensions are being made to buildings or systems are being linked between old and new premises this may meet the fund criteria, particularly where these are innovative low carbon projects. Please contact the LEEF team for a discussion

6. Do projects need to use the RE:FIT or RE:NEW frameworks in order to be eligible for LEEF?

No. RE:FIT (Public Sector focus) and RE:NEW (Social Housing focus) provide an OJEU procured framework open to all public sector bodies wishing to make energy and CO2 savings. Both frameworks do not include the provision of finance, and all projects will need to provide funds, which could be delivered through LEEF. RE:FIT, RE:NEW and LEEF are aligned in terms of approach, eligibility and outputs, and the teams work very closely together. Free support is also available to assist projects with project development, preparing mini-competitions and selecting suppliers. 

The use of RE:FIT or RE:NEW is not a requirement of LEEF funding, and projects can be procured and delivered in a range of different ways. For example, some public bodies have internal energy teams which prefer to run their own procurement processes for suppliers of works, or have existing arrangements with construction firms through framework or partnering arrangements. LEEF will fund any project that meets its investment criteria, as long as the works are procured on best value principles and are undertaken by a reputable provider. Please visit http://www.refit.org.uk/ or https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/environment/energy/renew-0/what-renew to learn more Please visit http://www.lda.gov.uk/projects/refit/ to learn more

7. Will LEEF fund renewable generation (e.g. solar) projects and can I still access the Feed In Tariff (FiT)? Does the same apply to Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) income?

Yes, renewable technologies are eligible as part of a retrofit project, although LEEF is unlikely to fund projects which are composed solely of solar PV. Any revenues or subsidies received by the project will be taken into account in the assessment of project viability, but there is no reason why the FiT cannot be included. Likewise, RHI-technology uptake is encouraged and will not affect LEEF funding

8. Is there a particular methodology that should be used to calculate energy savings?

Energy calculations are to be proposed by the applicant; however:

9. Do I need to have done a feasibility study to access LEEF?

No, but in order to receive funding you will need details of the cost and carbon and energy savings of each of the proposed technologies. This could be collected internally or you may commission an external study. Limited costs for professional fees may be rolled in to the cost of the LEEF loan. The RE:FIT or RE:NEW Programme Delivery Units (PDU) may be able to provide some free assistance with project development (Public Sector or Social Housing respectively). For more information, visit http://www.lda.gov.uk/projects/refit/or https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/environment/energy/renew-0/what-renew

10. Can LEEF funding be provided 'off balance sheet'?

The LEEF team welcomes discussion with any project sponsors promoting off balance sheet solutions. Depending on the structure of the project the financing arrangements, the types of technology and allocation of risk or rewards, borrowers may be able to structure projects either on or off balance sheet

11. How is 'London' defined?

The project must be located within the 33 London Boroughs

12. How do I make a formal application?

Contact LEEF for an initial discussion, fill out the Project Outline spreadsheet which can be downloaded here and then send it to enquiries@leef.co.uk to obtain a full application form

13. What are the fund's Performance Targets?

LEEF is a sustainable investor, targeting a socio-economic return as well as a financial return on investment. Projects supported by LEEF should aim to deliver Energy Savings (kWh) from the Energy Conservation Measures funded of at least 20% compared to conditions prior to investment.

There may be additional targets specific to each project and these will be discussed at the 'Project Outline' stage of the application process.

 
 

Funding Terms (please read the Executive Summary for further information)
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1. What interest rate will LEEF charge?

Lending rates are likely to be highly competitive, as well as providing flexible terms which can allow debt service to be matched against energy savings and thus be revenue neutral. Corporate and project specific loans are both available

2. Is there a deadline to apply for funding?

No, applications can be made at any time, although there is a limited pot of LEEF money and preferential terms may be available on a first come first served basis for eligible projects in the first year of operations

3. What is the minimum and maximum investment size?

LEEF is targeting investments from £3 – 10m (with a potential of up to £20m), although smaller projects may be considered on a case by case basis, and/or it may be possible to aggregate a number of projects through a facility agreement over a longer period.

The fund would therefore encourage project sponsors to consider how best to achieve economies of scale, for example by grouping buildings or eligible parts of broader refurbishment projects together. Draw down can be upfront or on a phased basis

4. How is LEEF different to Salix?

Salix funding is interest free, but is a very limited pot and has fixed payback periods. LEEF finance is focused solely on London and has more flexible terms

5. Is match funding required to be provided by the project in order to access LEEF?

No, LEEF will finance up to 100% of costs depending on the project and borrower

6. Is it possible to have a funding line over a number of years or is the money available project by project only?

LEEF can provide a facility agreement whereby funding is drawn down in tranches over a two to three year period, as long as an outline of the eligible works is available at the point the loan agreement is signed, and details provided before drawdown of each tranche

7. How long can the loan be?

LEEF is expecting to offer loans of up to ten years, although, as noted above, this is open to discussion. The fund may also offer flexible terms that facilitate early repayment if this is required

 
 

Application Process
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1. What is the process to receive funding from LEEF?
2. Will LEEF provide money towards development costs – feasibility studies etc?

LEEF does not provide grants or upfront funding for feasibility studies. Project sponsors may propose to include a limited amount of professional fees in the costs to be funded by LEEF, rolled in to the total loan amount

3. What 'filters' will applications go through?

The fund will review potential projects against three key areas:

  1. eligibility and strategic fit
  2. financial viability
  3. deliverability
 
 

LEEF MAILING LIST
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Click here to download Executive Summary PDF (opens in a new window)

 

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