A new heating services procurement framework designed to meet the needs of the Scottish social housing sector has been launched, offering participating social landlords the opportunity to achieve improvements in energy efficiency and savings on energy bills.
Expected to generate work with a total value of around £600m over four years across Scotland’s social housing sector, the new framework aims to help registered social landlords meet their obligations under the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH). It will be managed by PfH Scotland, providers of procurement services to the housing sector, and jointly owned by HouseMark, the National Housing Federation and the Chartered Institute of Housing.
EESSH aims to improve the energy efficiency of social housing in Scotland while reducing energy consumption, fuel poverty and the emission of greenhouse gases. It 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.
PfH Scotland received tenders from a total of 43 heating services contractors. Following the assessment process, 26 companies have been appointed to the framework covering six geographic regions across Scotland. The framework was split across these different regions with the aim of encouraging smaller local contractors to apply. To further incentivise participation by smaller local contractors, evaluation of tenders was 70% weighted in favour of quality, and 30% on price.
Alongside competitive pricing, technical competence and a strong track record in health and safety, bidding contractors were assessed according to their ability to demonstrate high quality service, market expertise, transparency and integrity, 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 benefits were marked particularly highly.
In total, 18 of the 26 contractors appointed to the framework are SMEs — based on the standard classification of having less than 250 employees, an annual turnover below £50m and gross assets of less than £12.5m. This is equivalent to almost 70% of the total.
In each geographic region, the framework has been broken down into 13 lots covering services such as energy performance certification, domestic and commercial gas servicing, the installation of renewables and architectural services. An SME contractor topped the shortlist in nine of the 13 lots.
Commenting on the launch of the new framework, PfH Scotland Head of Operations Stephen Herriot said: “Social landlords face challenging targets to improve the energy efficiency of their housing stock over the next four years. This framework will provide access to a broad range of heating services to help them meet those targets.
“Our exhaustive selection process has ensured that those contractors appointed to the framework are equipped to meet stringent quality standards at a competitive price. A key innovation has been the regional approach we have taken to provide greater access to those contractors with the flexibility and local knowledge needed to meet the exacting requirements of social landlords with a base in that region.”
PfH Scotland members using the new framework to procure heating services are provided with a comprehensive service solution — from initial project engagement to performance monitoring and contract management.