Focus: Birmingham Energy Savers (BES)

3_birminghamBirmingham City Council (BCC) is one of the pilots for Forward Commitment Procurement (FCP), a methodology developed by the OGC (the Office of Government Commerce) and BIS (Business Innovation and Skills – Government Department). An example of how BCC is exploring procuring innovation is the project Birmingham Energy Savers (BES).
The Birmingham Energy Savers (BES) project aims to offer homeowners and businesses in Birmingham the chance to have significant energy improvements made to their properties, both through insulation and small scale power generation, which in the long term will reduce household expenditure and also has the potential to provide an additional income.  The BES is a ground breaking project which could ultimately see all homes in Birmingham retrofitted with energy efficient improvements.  It will initially be launched as a pilot project. It is anticipated within the five-year target that if 1 in 5 homes in the pilot area take up the retro-fitting offer (5,000 homes), the project will see an annual CO2 saving of more than 3750 tonnes, and create 270 jobs in the process.
But what are the barriers of this project? There is a lack of innovative solutions in the mass market for Birmingham City Council housing stock that is hard to treat with traditional technology. To address this and encourage new innovative technologies, we are using the FCP process.  It is anticipated that the FCP will help to create the market conditions that will stimulate and support investment in innovative sustainable solutions this project requires.