Birmingham City Council (BCC) will appoint its preferred bidder in early October 2012 to deliver the Green Deal initiative in their area in a ground breaking procurement that could benefit up to 40 other local authorities, registered providers and other public sector stakeholders.  As BCC's procurement continues towards contract signature, how ready are you to take advantage of the opportunities presented by Green Deal and the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO)?

This alert considers the key issues that any contracting authority would need to consider.

  • What are the council's strategic objectives and how do they align with the scope of Green Deal and the three forms of ECO funding?  Green Deal and ECO funding could be used to tackle fuel poverty and encourage job retention and creation locally.
  • What support exists at senior levels of the organisation?  Where does the responsibility for driving such an initiative sit, given it impacts on many portfolios
  • Can the council work with other councils or other public bodies in the local area to offer scale of opportunity to the private sector?
  • What role does the authority envisage playing in the delivery of Green Deal and ECO in the area?  Will the council:

    • leave it to the market to delivery the benefits of improved energy efficiency?  But note, the market has been slow to react and whilst the energy companies offer ECO, will that in itself maximise the opportunities available?
    • act as a facilitator and promoter of Green Deal and ECO in their area?
    • procure certain services to support elements of delivery such as assessors or installers?
    • procure a delivery partner to deliver Green Deal and ECO funding while requiring the DP to deliver wider social and economic benefits to the citizens in exchange for benefiting from the use of the council's brand and routes to market?
  • How will the council incentivise performance if it procures a delivery partner and what remedies will it require if the required performance level is not achieved?
  • How will the council ensure that its brand is not exploited by contracts for their sole benefit and without delivering economic and social opportunities to the area?
  •  Will the council be investing any money in its delivery solution?  If so, what is this to fund (capital works, start up costs, equity buffer) and how will such funding be secured?
  • How does the council wish to contract with its delivery partner(s)?  By way of a full corporate joint venture?  A contractual JV?  An LLP?
  • What properties does the council intend to target through Green Deal and ECO?  Are there existing council properties (domestic and/or non-domestic) which could benefit from improved energy efficiency, or is it a broader strategy to benefit all residents?
  • What will the council's retained client function look like, particularly given their new HECA requirements?  How will it be resourced?  Realistically, how much performance monitoring will the council's retained client function carry out and how will it engage with any delivery partner(s)?

How we can help you

At Bevan Brittan, we have numerous ideas and possible solutions for you.  Our experience of advising Birmingham City Council on their procurement is unrivalled. Working with policy, locally and nationally, the new legislation and guidance and with the private sector bidding community on all aspects of their proposals allows us to offer support and guidance to you.

We would be delighted to talk to you further about how you could make the opportunities Green Deal and ECO work for you on their own or as part of a wider energy strategy.

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