Heating contractors invited to bid for £600m social housing procurement framework

thermostat-250556_960_720Specialist heating contractors from across Scotland are being invited to submit bids to take part in a new £600 million procurement framework specifically designed to help registered social landlords meet their obligations under the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH).

The new framework is being launched by PfH Scotland, the procurement specialist jointly owned by the National Housing Federation, the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and HouseMark.

With a specific focus on heating measures, the framework is expected to generate contract work with a total value of around £600m over four years across the social housing sector in Scotland.

Introduced in 2014, EESSH aims to improve the energy efficiency of social housing in Scotland while reducing energy consumption, fuel poverty and the emission of greenhouse gases and is expected to make an important contribution towards meeting the requirements set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 to reduce carbon emissions by 42% by 2020 and by 80% by 2050.

To meet the standard, all social housing in Scotland must achieve an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of Band D or better by 2020.

Following a process of vetting, shortlisting and selecting contractors, the framework is expected to go live in September of this year.

The framework has been split over six defined geographic regions with the aim of encouraging applications from smaller local contractors. PfH Scotland is also offering a range of bid support and advice for SMEs with limited or no experience of tendering for public sector work.

To further support participation be smaller local contractors, evaluation of tenders will also be 70% weighted in favour of quality and 30% on price.

In each geographic region, the framework has been broken down into 13 individual lots covering services ranging from energy performance certification to domestic and commercial gas servicing and from the installation of renewables to architectural services. Those tendering can submit responses for any or all of these individual lots and will then be required to identify the geographic areas within each lot that they can service.

Contractors have until July 17 to register an interest in the framework and to submit their bid. Alongside competitive pricing, technical competence and a strong track record in health and safety, those applying will be assessed according to their ability to demonstrate high quality service, market expertise, transparency and integrity alongside innovation and the use of new technologies. Contractors able to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and social value and a capacity to deliver local community benefit will be marked particularly high.

Commenting on the launch of the new framework, PfH Scotland head of operations, Stephen Herriot, said: “We are very pleased to be able to announce the launch of a new £600 million procurement framework dedicated to delivering heating measures designed to help social landlords across Scotland make ongoing progress towards improving the energy efficiency of their housing stock.

“Based on feedback from our members and provisions set out under the 2014 Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act, we have sought to design this new framework in a way that actively encourages participation from smaller local contractors. This includes selecting contractors to serve six individual regions across Scotland and placing a much greater emphasis in the assessment of bids on quality, service and local community benefit – rather than focusing predominantly on price.”

Stephen Herriot added: “I would encourage heating contractors of all sizes, including those who may have no previous experience of tendering for public sector contracts, to submit applications to take part in this new framework. It is an important opportunity to secure new work while helping drive ongoing improvements in the energy efficiency of social housing across Scotland.”

Further information about the PfH Scotland EESSH heating services framework is available on the Public Contracts Scotland website.