Sustainability Contestable Fund
Key information, criteria, guidelines, forms and deadlines for the fund.
|Level of compliance||Main audience||Other|
The Sustainability Contestable Fund (the Fund) was established to support schools to reduce their environmental impact and improve their operational efficiency.
The Fund was used to support projects to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:
Replacement or conversion of systems that require non-renewable energy sources (e.g. coal boilers)
Reduction in energy usage
Reduction of waste and/or increased recycling
Reduction of carbon (CO2) emissions using new technology, infrastructure or energy sources
Increased energy resilience, especially for rural and remote schools
Other property projects that have a positive environmental impact.
It is recognised that these projects offer educational and additional learning opportunities for students. With supporting information and curriculum materials, these projects can also highlight affirmative action and decrease climate change anxiety amongst students.
More about the Fund
The Fund had $5 million in departmental capital funding, which has been distributed to schools across two application rounds.
The Fund will operate as below:
|2019/20 and 2020/21||Application process, budget allocation and projects’ completion phase||The Ministry, assisted by an Assessment Panel, will make funding available to successful schools using its $5 million departmental capital allocation. Successful schools will need to complete their projects by the end of June 2021.|
|2021/22 and 2022/23||Monitoring phase||The Ministry will monitor the Fund’s implementation and measure its results from July 2021 to July 2023.|
The first round of funding opened on 6th November 2019 and closed on 31st January 2020. The first round resulted in 365 applications, 53 of which were successful.
List of successful applications for SCF - Round 1 [PDF, 218 KB]
The second (and final) round opened on 22 June 2020 and closed on the 3rd of August. There were 413 number of applications, 41 of which were successful.
List of successful applications for SCF – Round 2 [PDF, 172 KB]
No further funding round is planned.
What projects could be funded?
The Fund will invest in assets that have a minimum value of $5,000. The value of most projects is expected to fall in the range of $5,000-$100,000. Projects that are valued at over $100,000 may be funded, but will need to provide a more compelling case than projects of lower value.
Type of assets/projects that could be funded include:
- Diesel, coal or gas boiler replacement
- Replacement of inefficient heating systems
- Power infrastructure upgrades to allow use of plant/appliances that use renewable energy sources
- Recycling and/or waste reduction initiatives that require a capital investment such as the development of composting infrastructure
- Water savings measures such as rainwater collection and low flow plumbing fittings
- Solar electricity (photovoltaic) installations (with or without batteries)
- Other property upgrades that will increase energy efficiency and resilience, reduce energy loss, reduce waste or reduce carbon emissions.
What projects cannot be funded?
- Any project that does not create an asset worth at least $5,000
- Projects which can be funded through other Ministry’s initiatives or funding such as 5YA for a P1/P2 project (e.g. a double glazing project which is addressing a P1/P2 health and safety issue), School Investment Package (SIP), or the Improving classrooms in small or remote schools programme
- Training and/or changes to operating practices, where no asset is created
- Projects which are already underway or due to begin before the application round closes
- Electric/hybrid vehicle purchase and/or EV charging infrastructure
- Beautification projects
- Projects related to the external environment, planting, landscaping etc.
- Furniture and equipment
- Projects that relate to buildings that are due for redevelopment or demolition.
Requirements for delivering funded projects
Complete 5YA amendment
Successful schools will be required to complete a 10YPP amendment and/or 5YA variation to include the fund project into their 10-year property plan or 5YA agreement, if the project is not an existing one.
Compliance with Ministry’s standard procurement rules
If an application is successful, schools will have to comply with standard all-of-government procurement rules. For more information on the Ministry's procurement requirements, refer to the School property procurement framework.
Complete standard project management reports
Successful schools will be required to:
- Carry out standard property project management governance and reporting, including providing the appropriate paperwork to their local office. This is required so formal project approval can be granted
- Project management governance - Role of the board of trustees in school property projects
- Appropriate paperwork - Role of the board of trustees in school property projects.
Covering ongoing costs
Schools will need to use existing funding to meet any ongoing costs as a result of the project, or where the project costs run over.
Schools are expected to contribute resources, in the form of time, to develop the proposals, procure any services needed, and oversee implementation.
Reporting requirements for successful schools
Once the project has been completed, successful schools will be required to provide reporting with performance information about the funded asset until June 2023.
Schools will submit their performance reporting forms with any supporting information quarterly to the Sustainability Fund mailbox at SustainabilityFund@education.govt.nz.
If you have been funded for multiple projects, you must complete the appropriate form for each project, and submit these to the Ministry.
The reporting requirements are listed for each project type below.
|31 December 2020||
This is the due date for the 1st quarterly report; schools with completed projects must submit their forms on or before this date. Schools should then submit reports by the timelines provided below.
Schools who have not completed their project by 31 December should submit their report following the completion of their project.
|31 March 2021|
|30 June 2021||All Fund projects should be completed by this date.|
|30 September 2021||All schools should submit their first performance report by this date at the latest.|
|31 December 2021|
|31 March 2022|
|30 June 2022|
|30 September 2022|
|31 December 2022|
|31 March 2023|
|30 June 2023||This is the final performance report required for Fund projects.|
- Compost/Recycling Initiatives
- Electricity Efficiency Initiatives
- Other Fuel Efficiency Initiatives
- Boiler Replacements
- Solar Panels
- Rainwater Collection Tanks
- Water Use Reduction Initiatives
- Other projects not mentioned above (e.g. irrigation systems)
What to submit: Completed Compost/Recycle Initiatives form
Compost/Recycling Initiatives form [XLSM, 2.9 MB]
- Document the total weight of all the waste the school has put into the compost system.
- This will be used to estimate the amount of greenhouse gas emissions being saved by not putting this waste into landfill.
- If your project is or includes a recycling system, you will also need to include an estimate of the volume or weight of waste put into these systems.
What to submit: Completed Electricity Efficiency Initiatives form, and total electricity consumption for 2019
Electricity Efficiency Initiatives form [XLSM, 2.9 MB]
- Submit your total electricity consumption for each quarter.
- You will also need to submit this information for all of 2019. If the Ministry has access to your energy usage data you do not need to submit 12 months of electricity data, but you will still be required to complete the form with your consumption each quarter.
- If the Ministry has access to your electricity usage data, but you have changed electricity providers since January 2019, then you will need to submit electricity consumption for the period before switching providers, up to the 12-month period.
- If you make any further infrastructure or operational changes which significantly impact your electricity consumption you should include details of these on your form.
What to submit: Completed Electricity Efficiency Initiatives form, and total fuel consumption for the previous fuel type for 2019
Electricity Efficiency Initiatives form [XLSM, 2.9 MB]
- Submit your total new fuel consumption (fuel invoices can be used as an estimate of consumption) for each quarter.
- Submit this information for the previous fuel type for the 12 months prior to your project being completed (this applies even where the old and new fuel types are the same).
- If the new fuel type is electricity, and that was not the old fuel type, you will need to submit your electricity consumption data for all of 2019, in addition to the old fuel consumption.
- If you have already given the Ministry permission to access your electricity usage data, this will not be necessary.
- If the Ministry has access to your electricity usage data, but you have changed electricity providers since 2019, then you will need to submit electricity consumption data for the period before switching providers.
- Please note that if you have only provided access to your school’s electricity data, you will still need to provide evidence of your consumption of any other fuels directly to SustainabilityFund@education.govt.nz.
- If you make any further infrastructure or operational changes which significantly impact your fuel/electricity consumption, you should include details of these on your form.
What to submit: Completed Boiler Replacement form, and total fuel consumption for 2019
Boiler Replacement form [XLSM, 2.9 MB]
- Submit your new fuel source’s consumption data (fuel invoices can be used as an estimate of consumption) for each quarter.
- Submit your previous fuel consumption for 2019.
What to submit: Completed Solar Panels form, and total electricity consumption for the quarter
Solar Panels form [XLSM, 2.9 MB]
- Submit the total energy produced by your solar system (measured in kWh), and how much of that energy was exported to the grid (if any).
- Submit your total electricity consumption for the quarter, so that the proportion of energy usage provided by your solar panels can be calculated.
- (Battery only) If you have used battery stored power to power your school in the last quarter, you should detail this on the form.
Rainwater Collection form [XLSM, 2.9 MB]
- Once your supplier is confirmed, you should inquire as to whether you can install an outflow meter onto the tank to record the water used.
- If they can do this within the funding provided (including any contingency) this must be done.
- If this would require additional funding beyond that granted by the Sustainability Fund, please contact SustainabilityFund@education.govt.nz.
- Once installed this will record the water used from your collection tanks rather than mains water, this should be recorded on your form.
- You should also record in the comments box, for what purpose(s) this water has been used.
What to submit: Completed Water Saving Measure form, and total Water Consumption for the quarter
Water Saving Measure form [XLSM, 2.9 MB]
- Submit your total water consumption for the quarter.
- Submit your water consumption for 2019.
- If your school’s water supply is not metered, please contact SustainabilityFund@education.govt.nz.
What to submit: Completed Other Project Types form for projects not mentioned above
Other Project Types form [XLSM, 2.9 MB]
- These projects do not require submission of specific data.
- You should include a description of the benefits created by the project.
If you have any queries about the Fund’s performance reporting requirements, please contact SustainabilityFund@education.govt.nz.
The following frequently asked questions relate to the Sustainability Contestable Fund. If you have any further questions please contact the Fund’s mailbox at SustainabilityFund@education.govt.nz or your Ministry Property Advisor.
How much funding is available to successful projects per annum?
$2.5 million was allocated for each of the Fund’s funding rounds.
Does the funding provided cover the project’s contingency budget and Project Manager Fees?
Yes. The funding applied for should have included the project’s contingency and any fees including those for Project Managers. No further funding will be provided towards the project beyond the initial application and grant of funding.
Who is responsible for meeting any ongoing costs associated with the project?
Any ongoing or incidental costs must be paid by the school. This includes where existing infrastructure is not suitable for the proposed project. Where a high likelihood of this occurring is identified, schools should have included what steps they have taken to investigate or prevent this, as part of their application.
Who will have ownership of the asset once completed?
The Ministry will retain complete ownership of any asset(s) created. Schools will be responsible for any ongoing maintenance, servicing costs, or costs associated with life cycle replacement.
Who should we contact for information not covered by the Fund webpage or FAQs?
Please contact your Ministry Property Advisor or the Fund’s mailbox at SustainabilityFund@education.govt.nz.
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