Contracts for gas servicing and heating installations are offered by a broad range of organisations but can broadly be divided into two main categories, domestic and non-domestic.
- Domestic – typically local authorities, councils and housing associations, who routinely manage tens of thousands of residential properties which are rented by tenants. This is the dominant market, as landlords have a duty under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 to ensure gas appliances, fittings and chimney/flues provided for tenants are safe. This means regular servicing, annual safety checks and provision of a record that these checks have been carried out.
- Non-domestic – typically public and private sector organisations with significant property portfolios, including education, healthcare and civic buildings through to university accommodation and commercial offices.
The sector is dominated by SMEs and a handful of national providers, with contract values ranging anywhere from £100,000 to £5 million plus over a typical three-year contract duration.
As well as legislative compliance for landlords, the market is driven by the need for clients to deliver ongoing asset renewal and planned preventative maintenance programmes, with contracts generally requiring one or a combination of the following services:
- Breakdown and repairs – which often includes a 24/7, 365 emergency call-out service with prescribed response times and may include reactive installations.
- Inspection, servicing and maintenance – involving regular servicing, annual safety checks and issuing of Landlord Gas Safety Certificates and provision of a record that the required checks have been carried out.
- Planned replacement programmes – covering replacement of boilers or the entire heating system, as well as fuel-switch programmes, for example from electric storage heaters to a gas boiler, with work taking place in both void properties and occupied properties, which can add significantly to the challenges faced. In addition to this, some local authorities have carbon reduction targets and strategies to alleviate fuel poverty amongst tenants which, as well as driving renewal and upgrade programmes, places a greater emphasis on energy-efficient solutions.
In addition to these core areas, we also regularly support clients bidding for one-off contracts for the replacement and associated works of large central/community heating and boiler plant.
Writing tenders for gas servicing and installation
As you would expect from the diverse range of organisations commissioning gas servicing and installation providers, needs and priorities can vary significantly, and this is reflected in the types of responses and supporting evidence required during the tender process. Our team of writers has extensive experience and knowledge in all aspects of gas servicing and installation contracts and are well-placed to add significant value to submissions by ensuring the responses reflect the requirements of the commissioning authority.
Some of the common themes that providers looking to tender for gas servicing and installation contracts should be aware of across all sectors include:
- Customer focus – a strong emphasis is placed on residents and building occupants and ensuring their needs are accommodated and disruption minimised. This might be in the form of flexible appointments, safeguarding training or user-friendly handover sessions to ensure users know how to operate and benefit from the functionality of a new heating installation.
- Competent, well trained and qualified staff – clients often want providers to evidence the competency of those who will deliver the service, including their industry qualifications and additional training such as asbestos awareness.
- Robust reporting and management systems – given the scale of many contracts, and the need to show compliance with legislation, for example through the issuing of Landlord Gas Safety Certificates, authorities expect comprehensive management and reporting tools and clear audit trails of the work undertaken.
- IT integration – increasingly providers are being asked about the ability to provide integrated IT solutions, whereby their internal contract management systems integrate with the client’s asset database and provides seamless, real-time updates and bespoke reporting.
- Opportunities to add value – whether through additional services, for example assisting clients to develop renewable energy and technology strategies or providing analysis of alternative heating system options, client are looking for where you can deliver above and beyond the specification
- Social value – housing associations and local authorities in particular often have well-developed social value strategies, and they look to service providers to support them in the delivery of these. Increasingly an integrated, multi-stranded approach is required, with clear, demonstrable benefits.
At Executive Compass, we have worked on hundreds of SQ and tender submissions across the gas servicing and installation sector, including notable contracts for a range of high profile buyers, such as:
- Hanover Housing Association: planned domestic heating installations, servicing and breakdown
- Bristol City Council: domestic heating installation contract
- Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing: air source heat pump contract – service and issue of Landlords Safety certificate, responsive repairs and installations, planned installations
- Guildford Borough Council: domestic gas servicing and repairs
- St Albans City and District Council: gas servicing and supply
- Stonewater: gas servicing including reactive maintenance
- Loughborough University: gas appliance servicing and maintenance
- Rural Stirling: upgrading of electric storage heating.
Advice from professional bid writers
Executive Compass recognises the challenges faced by organisations when bidding for contracts, and our team of full-time writers is well versed in the completion of SQs and PQQs and the tendering process. We can provide expert consultancy, and guidance and advice on your tendering needs. Our services include a ‘bid, no bid’ advisory stage, and if we believe a contract is not right for you, we will always advise you before you choose to bid for the opportunity. In addition, we are well-placed to look out for suitable construction services opportunities for your organisation, and to support you at each stage of the tendering process.