Procurement frameworks: The role of the public sector in energy demand

procurement frameworks, public sector in energy
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Adam Garbutt, CCS Category Lead for Utilities & Fuels (Strategic) at Crown Commercial Service – HELGA explains the role of the public sector when it comes to tackling the so-called ‘energy trilemma’ in terms of procurement frameworks

The UK is not alone among nations facing the so-called ‘energy trilemma’, a puzzle which requires the balancing of three challenges: affordability, sustainability and security.
The public sector has a significant role to play in helping solve this problem and indeed has set a voluntary target to reduce its own carbon emissions to 30% of 2009/10 levels by 2020/21.

Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has been tasked with supporting this aim through a number of energy agreements – sets of terms and conditions which suppliers agree to abide by when dealing with public bodies.

One of our newest and most noteworthy agreements is the HELGA (Heat Networks and Electricity Generation Assets) Dynamic Purchasing System (CDPS), which will help public bodies and the wider public sector find the right suppliers for solar panels, wind turbines, heat networks, battery storage and more.

By self-generating, the public sector will benefit from energy security, lower costs and demand reduction. All these measures will increase the uptake of renewable energy and reduce the environmental impact of the public sector.

HELGA supports public sector customers and provides the specialist suppliers – whatever their size – access to those customers.

For customers, HELGA is a flexible and compliant way to access a full range of market participants for any energy generation or efficiency projects they wish to run. The benefits include an OJEU-compliant competition process, and pre-existing terms and conditions to reduce paperwork.

It will allow filtering by project size and location, assisting SMEs to participate in the call for competition and allow the public sector to fulfil its ambition to increase its spend through the SME market.

For suppliers, once they are registered they will be included in any relevant call for competition run through the HELGA system, increasing their visibility of new projects and potentially opening up whole new markets.

The market for energy demand reduction is growing all the time, and we see up to £800 million of public spend being delivered through this agreement over its four-year lifespan.
CCS has engaged closely with the energy demand management market to better understand its fast-moving and evolving nature. We’ve looked over the horizon too, putting in place an agreement which fulfils the needs of the sector today while being flexible to ensure it captures future requirements.

we see up to £800 million of public spend being delivered through this agreement

It was, for this reason, CCS opted for a DPS, which allows both suppliers and services to evolve as requirements change. It puts HELGA and CCS at the forefront of energy demand management tools. It also allows suppliers to register at any time during the lifetime of the agreement. We have had over 70 suppliers register to be on the agreement since it launched in November 2018, with many of those now approved and ready to serve customers – this figure will grow over the next four years.

CCS is uniquely positioned to offer services to both Central Government and the wider public sector, as well as offering solutions for the full range of technologies and services.
Although innovative and digital HELGA retains the human element that CCS customers like. It allows for specialist design and advisory services to be bought if customers need help to create these specs, and the HELGA team is always on hand to help customers.

But HELGA is just one of the ways we are looking to help our customers meet their energy needs as they try to address CO2 and energy security issues.

We have a long-term strategy to help the public sector reduce the cost and impact of all aspects of its energy consumption, by providing a range of services to cover the whole end-to-end process of utility management.

In addition to our frameworks for electricity, gas, water and fuels, which allow customers to buy utilities at a low cost, we have recently introduced frameworks to help manage and reduce their energy consumption. These include Utilities Management Software, Metering and Ancillary Services (RM3800) and Demand Side Response (RM3792) frameworks. We are currently developing a Smart Energy Cities offering to manage new ‘Smart’ technologies and their impact on the way our customers use energy.

We believe this will provide our customers with the tools they need to help them manage the uncertainty of long-term energy prices and ever-changing technologies.

The challenge facing CCS is that it needs to be influential – the place people turn to for public procurement excellence. That’s not just about developing innovative market-sensitive frameworks, but also about being in tune with policy initiatives that want to improve the lives of citizens throughout the country. HELGA is a great example of that kind of thinking, and this kind of leadership is how CCS can really make a difference.


Adam Garbutt

CCS Category Lead for Utilities & Fuels (Strategic)

Crown Commercial Service – HELGA
Tel: +44 (0)345 010 3503

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