£600m social housing procurement framework invites contractor bids

Published:  14 June, 2017

Heating contractors from across Scotland are being invited to submit bids to take part in a new 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, specialist providers of procurement services to the housing sector and jointly owned by the National Housing Federation and the Chartered Institute of Housing.

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. 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.

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

With a specific focus on heating measures and an emphasis on meeting the needs of Scottish housing associations, PfH Scotland's newly launched framework is expected to generate contract work with a total value in the region of £600 million over four years across Scotland's social housing sector. Following a process of vetting, shortlisting and selecting contractors, the framework is expected to go live in September of this year.

As it launches the new framework, PfH Scotland is inviting specialist heating contractors to submit bids to be appointed to the framework in one of six defined geographic regions across Scotland. The framework has been split over these 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 by 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 including energy performance certification, domestic and commercial gas servicing, the installation of renewables and 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 17 July 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 highly.

Stephen Herriot, PfH Scotland Head of Operations, said: "With a little over three and a half years to go until the targets set out under EESSH need to be met, Scotland has made important progress towards improving the energy efficiency of its social housing stock. But with more still to be done, we are very pleased to be able to announce the launch of a procurement framework dedicated to delivering heating measures designed to drive further improvements in this important area.

"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 assigning contractors to one of six 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 concluded: "I would encourage heating contractors of all sizes, including those who may have no previous experience of tendering for public sector contracts, to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in this £600 million procurement framework and to secure new work while helping drive ongoing improvements in the energy efficiency of Scottish social housing."