Energy Saving Trust workshop for local businesses in Inveraray on 1st June

It’s not a title to get the adrenaline going, but the Sustainable Energy Supply Chain Procurement Guide – just launched – is a useful new guide for suppliers of energy efficient products and services. It has been created to help to break down barriers to sales facing SMEs operating in the sector.

The new Guide’s focus  – Bid better for public sector contracts – has been produced in the wake of research that identified the paperwork and administration associated with energy efficiency and renewable installations as key obstacles for SMEs competing to get into the comfort zone of becoming a public sector supplier.

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, says: ‘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 says: ‘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 notes: ‘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.’

The Loch Fyne Hotel and Spa in Inveraray is hosting a special Energy Saving Trust workshop for local businesses on the Sustainable Energy Supply Chain Procurement Guide, on Wednesday 1st June 2016 from 9am to 4.30pm. More information on the event and booking for it is available online here.

Similar workshops are being held in Perth on 7th June; in Dumfries on 8th June; and in Edinburgh on 9th June.

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