Energy Saving Trust and the Supplier Development Programme launch new procurement guide to help companies bid more successfully

A new guide for suppliers of energy efficient products and services has been launched to help ‘break down’ barriers SMEs face in dealing with paperwork and procurement.

The new Sustainable Energy Supply Chain Procurement Guide, Bid better for public sector contracts, has been produced following research identifying the paperwork and administration associated with energy efficiency and renewable installations are key obstacles for SMEs operating in the sector.

Published by the Energy Saving Trust in partnership with the Supplier Development Programme (SDP) Scotland, it is hoped the publication will help businesses more easily negotiate the red tape and boost their trade.

Mike Thornton, Director of the Energy Saving Trust in Scotland, said: “There is still a long way to go to improve the efficiency of Scotland’s buildings and, subsequently, the well-being of householders.

“The Scottish Government, local authorities and social landlords have a significant part to play in this and consequently many of the opportunities are public sector contracts. Therefore it is important that energy efficiency installers, assessors, consultants and other suppliers have the skills to bid effectively for these contracts.

“Our research clearly identified paperwork as the greatest barrier facing SMEs in the low carbon and renewables sector. Our guide has been specifically designed to address this by explaining the key elements of public sector procurement in order to make it less onerous for SME suppliers.”

The guide gives key advice and tips on how to improve the quality of bids for public sector contracts and provides information on the various opportunities available to suppliers of energy efficiency products and services.

It also underlines the importance of SMEs registering with Public Contracts Scotland, the portal through which all public sector opportunities are listed for tender.

Gillian Cameron, Manager of SDP Scotland said: “The Programme is delighted to be working with the Energy Saving Trust to support SMEs in this sector. With the recent changes to the procurement legislation such as the introduction of the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) this guide will prove invaluable to ensure that businesses can bid effectively.”

Mike Thornton also added: “Tackling the country’s carbon emissions is a key component of the Scottish Government’s plans, with energy efficiency designated a national infrastructure priority last summer.

“There are huge opportunities for the sector. Currently, more than half a million solid-wall homes are not insulated and 15 per cent of the nation’s properties are off the gas grid.

“Furthermore, the new Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) means that by 2020, no social property will have an energy efficiency rating lower than a C or a D, and many public sector landlords will have to improve their stock to reach this.

“The volume of work this offers means it is essential Scotland’s SMEs register with Public Contract Scotland now and take advantage of the new business prospects it offers.”

To download a copy of the guide, visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/procurement-guide. To register with Public Contract Scotland, visit http://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk.

In addition to the guide, the Energy Saving Trust is also organising a series of free to attend workshops, in Inveraray on June 1, Perth on June 7, Dumfries on June 8 and Edinburgh on June 9.

To book, or for more information, log on to www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/procurement-guide.

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