12 June 2009 | Martha McKenzie-Minifie
The OGC is urging public sector buyers to source energy through central purchasing bodies (CPB), such as Buying Solutions and NHS Pasa, in a bid to collectively save up to £320 million a year by 2012.
The agency launched two guides this week and is starting a series of regional events to promote the buying deals, developed as part of the Pan-Government Energy Project.
The guides, which are available online, outline how to adopt best practice energy purchasing and include tips on recognising risks and controlling costs. They also list approved and provide contact details for CPBs, and give a check list to help buyers identify which purchasing group best suits their organisation.
OGC chief executive Nigel Smith (pictured) said the support was needed as buying energy was complex and often considered a "specialist activity". He added: "The energy market can be extremely volatile, with prices varying significantly on a daily basis. This can make it very difficult to manage budgets and control costs."
Government spend on gas and electricity is around £3.8 billion a year.
The government's Operational Efficiency Programme found energy prices varied by more than 50 per cent across the public sector and identified up to £320 million annual savings by 2012 through the adoption of aggregated, flexible and risk managed energy procurement.