What was involved in your original project?
The project involved treating over 1,000 properties on the Four Acre Estate in Clock Face with exterior wall insulation. It attracted funding from both the ERDF and CESP and the first phase included 653 homes. While our key aim was to procure external wall insulation, we also wished to trial other renewable technologies - as did our partner REECH – and consequently we have included L.E.D’s, voltage optimizers, positive input ventilation and air source heat pumps.
On the back of the success of the first phase we were principally awarded a second phase to undertake a further 385 properties. E.ON contributed to this through our CESP funding, making the overall scheme virtually self-funded.
How are you assessing the benefits to residents’ homes?
We predict that the insulation works undertaken should be cutting down heat loss in residents’ homes by approximately 25 to 30 %. As the works have only been recently completed, we are still collecting the data required in order to conduct a full assessment of the benefits.
We have started collecting data on the energy savings in homes, particularly looking at residents’ fuel bills. We are also gathering data intelligence by collecting meter information during annual gas serving appointments, with the resident’s approval. This information will go towards evaluating the measures we have taken so far and help us ascertain what we may look to do in the future.
What do you feel the benefit of using the Fusion21 Insulation Framework is?
One of the main benefits of the framework for us was the speed of which we could get delivery going. We had to be on site fairly quickly due to tight timescales determined by CESP, so saw the framework as the best option to facilitate this.
Another major factor was to ensure our contracts were OJEU compliant, due to the funding we were awarded being connected to REECH (Renewables and Energy Efficiency in Community Housing) and ERDF.
REECH in particular needed to be satisfied with our procurement route due to the strict conditions associated with the funds, something the Alliance Insulation Framework could demonstrate in both an open and transparent way.
What did you think of your contractor and supplier performance through the framework?
Due to time constraints we decided to conduct a direct call off through the framework and awarded the contract to Keepmoat. We appointed Keepmoat to complete both the supply and installation of the works. We felt it was important to influence the chosen supplier and product, but as we were not in the position to demand it, we worked in partnership with the awarded contractor.
As a result of our efforts we managed to get local supply chains involved in our contract. Alumasc was chosen as the supplier for phase one and Knauf for phase two, which are both companies based in St Helens.
We were extremely pleased we could work in partnership with the awarded contractor to determine a supply chain that included both local supply and associated labour.
Why did you choose to the Fusion21 Framework as your procurement route?
We typically look at a range of options when procuring goods and services for our organisation. Helena Partnerships adopts a multi-strand procurement strategy that always looks at the most appropriate ways to procure our services and goods. We selected the Fusion21 Framework as this was the best option for us.
In particular, the ease with which we could get the project on the ground running, in addition to the transparency of OJEU compliance helped to reassure our funders.
Within our team our main priority is to ensure the contracts go on site within set timescales, run smoothly and are within budget. The Fusion21 Framework provides the added bonus of letting us know what social value will be created through our investments. We can concentrate on the contract whilst Fusion21will deliver measurable job outcomes to local residents, helping us to demonstrate our social value.
Has social value through the Fusion21 Framework benefited your community?
The majority of work has been undertaken on the Four Acre Estate, and eight local people who were previously unemployed have been given jobs as a result of our investment.
More importantly, 80% of the jobs created in phase one went to local Helena residents. The recruitment for phase two of the project is currently taking place. It’s fantastic that we can provide our residents with these opportunities and combine social value clauses into our contracts through the Fusion21 Frameworks.