How to procure energy efficiency works

The climate emergency has highlighted to us all the need to not just improve our ways but to retrofit our existing buildings. The recent announcement of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund being available for up to 38,000 of the UK’s worst energy-performing social homes to receive vital energy efficiency upgrades is welcome but leaves a bigger question in its place. How can these works be procured?

Procurement is central to every decision in public sector spending and can even be seen as a barrier to getting works completed. SWPA believe this first wave of funding is the perfect opportunity to find a compliant route that can be easily replicated for future funding waves.

Our Energy Efficiency Measures & Associated Works (N8) framework could be the best way for many organisations achieve this. With 21 individual measures and a multi-disciplinary workstream, public sector bodies can procure a variety of works that will enable them to reach net zero targets.

Phil Blackmore, Procurement Manager for SWPA says, ‘Running tenders to find the most suitable contractor is both time and labour intensive, and the prospect of repeatedly running them for each wave of funding with the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund will require a lot of resource. This is a daunting prospect for many local authorities and housing associations, especially smaller organisations that may not have dedicated procurement resource. Our framework provides that route to market without the need for additional resources and expertise.’

To best support this first wave of funding SWPA are encouraging any public sector bodies that have applied for funding to register their projects through our framework. With options for mini-competitions and direct awards our appointed companies can be ready for the project to start in January 2022.

It’s more than just a quick and compliant procurement route, this early engagement will enable the chosen company to engage with the supply chain early – making the project timelines more certain.

SWPA Director, Mary Bennell, says ‘We’re very proud of this framework, and what we as a team can offer – we have procurement and technical expertise to help all our clients navigate this funding and chose the best options for them. When you consider the additional expertise of our appointed companies and the ability to add social value criteria to our mini-competitions we believe this is the best option for the public sector to effectively use the funding and achieve their goals.’

SWPA encourage everyone who is applying for funding to access the guidance and to speak to us to explore if the framework is the right procurement option for your project and organisation.

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