Sheffield City Council has saved £140,000 after teaming up with procurement consortium Re:allies to purchase and install over 400 heating systems across the city.
The council worked with Re:allies, a partnership comprising Procure Plus, Central Housing Investment Consortium and Efficiency North, on the £863,000 project.
Within one year a saving of £140,000 had been achieved, affording the council the opportunity to refurbish an additional 70 properties without increasing its yearly maintenance budget.
Janet Sharpe, director of housing at Sheffield City Council, said: “When using a traditional route to market, we’ve historically had to choose between cost and quality, so we wanted to explore alternatives.
“For this project, we decided to use Efficiency North’s labour framework, meaning we were able to choose two regional contractors – Yorkshire Plumbing and Heating, and Aqua Interiors – to do the work. Then, as Efficiency North is a member of Re:allies, we were able to call off our boilers from its materials framework [at a competitive price].”
As part of the specification process, a mini-competition was held to determine which supplier would provide the heating materials for the council. Re:allies arranged for the council’s technical and responsive teams, along with a panel of residents, to assess the boilers, considering aspects such as life cycle costs and ease of maintenance.
In addition, Efficiency North worked with the council to create five trainee placements with appointed contractors and will continue to support the apprentices throughout their training and into full time employment.
“It’s vital that our frameworks provide our members with real value and socio-economic benefits, as opposed to just pounds and pence,” said Matt Jarratt, senior operations manager at Re:allies.
“During our work with Sheffield City Council we’ve very much taken the long term view. So as well as helping them select boilers that will give great value in terms of life cycle costs, we also created opportunities for five people to build careers.”