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Scotland seeks heating contractors for £600m social housing framework

Bids encouraged from small local contractors, including those without previous experience of public sector tendering

Heating contractors in Scotland have been invited to submit bids to take part in a new £600 million procurement framework.

The four-year framework is specifically focused on heating measures and is 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, which is jointly owned by the National Housing Federation and the Chartered Institute of Housing. 

PFH Scotland said: ”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.”

Contractors have until July 17th to register an interest in the framework and to submit their bid.

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 PfH Scotland says it expects it 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 EPC (energy performance certificate) rating of Band D or better by 2020.

The framework is expected to go live in September, following a process of vetting, shortlisting and selection of contractors,. Heating contractors are being invited to submit bids to be appointed to the framework in one of six defined geographic regions across Scotland.

This regional approach is intended to encourage applications from smaller local contractors, PfH Scotland said, and with this in mind, the body is also offering a range of bid support and advice for SMEs with limited or no experience of tendering for public sector work.

The body added that evaluation of tenders will be 70% weighted in favour of quality and 30% on price, to further support the participation of smaller local companies.

In each geographic region, the framework has been broken down into 13 individual lots, covering services including domestic and commercial gas servicing; the installation of renewables; and EPC assessment. 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.

PfH Scotland Head of Operations Stephen Herriot said: “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.”

He 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.”

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