BES Utilities wins contract to help public sector cut energy costs

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BES Utilities has won a major contract which will help local authorities, the NHS, schools and emergency services drive down their energy costs.

ESPO – one of the UK’s largest public sector buying organisations – has set up a new fixed-price purchase framework that will allow public sector bodies to source gas and electricity at lower prices than they would otherwise be able to negotiate themselves.

And ESPO has confirmed it has selected BES Utilities as one of its three suppliers for the new framework.

The contract – which is worth an estimated £600m over two years – allows BES to supply a range of public sector bodies across the UK including:

  • Local authorities
  • Educational establishments (including Academies)
  • Central Government Departments and agencies
  • Police, Fire and Rescue and Coastguard emergency services
  • NHS and Health and Social Care (HSC) bodies, including Ambulance Services
  • Registered charities
  • Registered social landlords

Michelle Davidson, co-owner and director of BES Utilities, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to supply gas and electricity to ESPO’s customers through this new framework. This is a major development for BES and opens a new market to us.

“We always pride ourselves on developing innovative products which help our private sector customers drive down their energy bills. We now look forward to bringing this dedication and expertise to the public sector.

“We are committed to working with ESPO and their customers, who range from schools, councils, the emergency services and charities, to deliver unrivalled service and real value for money.”

Lancashire-based BES Utilities is joined by Corona Energy and Total Gas and Power as the framework’s suppliers.

All three were assessed during the procurement process on their financial stability, track record, experience, technical and professional ability and regulatory status.

Declan McAlister, ESPO Category Manager (Energy), said: “We are proud to bring to market our brand-new Fixed Price Energy framework which will give excellent value and service to the public sector and will provide greater budgetary certainty.

“We are delighted to have a choice of suppliers on the framework that have all been rigorously assessed during our procurement process to ensure our customers receive the highest of standards from the ESPO they know and trust.

“In particular, the suppliers impressed us with their commitment to social responsibility and transparency, a key principle of this procurement process.”

BES Utilities is committed to social responsibility and helping customers in tough trading times through the company’s ground-breaking hardship fund and its partnership with the charity Business Debtline.

In 2018 alone, the BES Fund gave assistance to customers who had collectively run up energy debts of almost £500,000. Through pro-active intervention, BES and Business Debtline were able to provide clear pathways and viable solutions for businesses allowing them to continue trading.

ESPO, which is jointly owned by the county councils of Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk and Peterborough City Council, has more than 30 years of experience in public sector procurement.

As a large purchaser, it can take an aggregated and risk-managed approach to negotiations and so return greater value to customers amid often volatile energy market prices. The new framework can secure pre-agreed, fixed prices for Half Hour (HH), Non-Half-Hourly (NHH) and Unmetered Supplies (UMS). This will, in turn, provide budget certainty for customers.

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