Experts needed for carbon net zero-ready social housing

A new framework to support the retrofit and decarbonisation of the UK’s 6.1 million social homes and public sector buildings has opened for applications from the 29th of April. 

CPC is seeking consultants and specialists in energy efficiency, heating and ventilation, renewables, charging points, and solar PV, for its new Retrofit and Decarbonisation (N9) framework. 

Launching in Autumn 2024, N9 will offer suppliers a significant pipeline of public sector work to support local authorities and social housing providers with net zero delivery and energy efficiency compliance. 

It aims to drive essential retrofitting works across the sector's 4.4 million properties and help local authorities and social housing providers deliver urgent upgrades for warmer, more efficient homes. This will be crucial to meeting net-zero objectives and supporting residents grappling with the cost of living. 

Meanwhile, local authorities will also be able to use the framework to ensure they meet the government’s target to cut 75% of carbon emissions by 2037 across 1.9 million non-domestic public buildings. 

Clive Feeney, group managing director of LHC – a not-for-profit built environment, compliance, and consultancy framework provider delivering exclusively for the public sector – said: “Retrofit and decarbonisation is a huge task for the public sector and social housing providers and requires a skilled workforce who can meet the complexities of this challenge.  

“This framework will deliver the expertise needed and offers a huge opportunity for specialists and consultants to make a difference to communities throughout the UK, delivering projects for years to come.  

“Housing represents 28% of the UK’s carbon emissions and the government’s Clean Growth Strategy is targeting all social housing to meet EPC C by 2030. Meanwhile, public buildings emit 2% of carbon emissions – a significant figure at an estimated 7.66 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e). LHC frameworks are already relied upon by the public sector to deliver a pool of pre-approved suppliers and consultants, and they are now looking to N9 to provide experts who can ready housing and building stock for carbon net zero and a decarbonised grid.” 

N9 will also help to deliver work required by a mix of government and energy company schemes including the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) and Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS). Together, the schemes are worth £1.4 billion, with match funding from social housing from local authorities, social housing providers, and charities adding £1.1 billion. It can also support improvements to social housing with an EPC of band D-G under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).  

The framework can also be used by hospitals, schools, leisure centres, museums and universities to source experts in low-carbon heating, renewable energy and energy efficiency measures under the £400 million Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. 

Nick Beard, LHC technical manager, said: “N9 will go live later this year and runs until 2028, so it perfectly aligns with peak public sector demand for expertise in energy efficiency and low-carbon heating solutions.” 

“At LHC we are very proactive in our work to attract smaller and more local businesses and underrepresented groups to apply to be part of our frameworks, and the tender process has been adapted with this in mind.  

“For example, to access many of the government funding streams, installers must be PAS 2030 certified. Part of our process will be to support appointed companies in achieving these standards within two years of joining the framework, if required.   

“Ultimately, we want to hear from and work with hard-to-attract organisations that have never been appointed to public sector projects before and create new opportunities for the market.”  

N9 will be available nationwide through the Group’s five business units: London and South East (LSE)Consortium Procurement Construction (CPC)South West Procurement Alliance (SWPA)Welsh Procurement Alliance (WPA); and Scottish Procurement Alliance (SPA). 

The six workstreams cover: consultancy; multi-disciplinary works; building insulation and performance (passive); heating systems; control and management systems; and electrical. They cover a range of expertise from heating and ventilation to EV and Solar PV, as well as integrating renewable energy solutions and PAS 2035 and 2038-compliant guidance.  

Throughout the tender submission period applicants can ask questions and a full tender response pack, templates, and guidance information are also available.  

Tender documents are available via LHC’s InTend portal. First-time applicants can also register via the InTend portal.  

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