education sector’s fast learning the benefits of adopting smarter energy procurement

12 August 2009

The Energy Consortium (TEC) reports a groundswell in take-up by educational bodies of aggregated, flexible and risk managed procurement since the OGC actively started promoting it in June

Birmingham, UK, 24 July, 2009 – The Energy Consortium (TEC) has just signed up five UK universities to its ‘Flex Energy Contracts’ and attributes winning the new business to not only the cost-saving message of flexible over fixed contracts finally getting through but also TEC’s recent recommendation as an Office of Government Commerce (OGC) central purchasing body (CPB).

Not for profit consortium TEC already supplies energy to over 85 per cent of the UK’s universities and a growing number of FE Colleges. Most contracts, up until now, have been fixed price, fixed term (FPFT) and together with its business partner Utilyx, TEC has been making significant inroads into converting existing clients to flexible contracts. Since the OGC launched its campaign in June to persuade public sector bodies to adopt aggregated, flexible and risk managed procurement, response from the education sector has been swift.

The CEO of TEC Kevin Doyle explains: “Our recent signing of Gloucester, Brunel, London, York and Loughborough Universities to our flexible contracts service is a clear indication that the education sector particularly has firmly grasped the cost-saving benefits of Flex, which we’ve found have saved our customers an average of 10 per cent or more over fixed. We were delighted to be Pan Government accredited earlier this year and just recently received word from the Learning & Skills Council that it too would be promoting us, along with other public buying organisations, to FE colleges.”

Between them, TEC and Utilyx manage 100TWh of gas and electricity in the public/private sector. The partnership was the first to offer flexible contracts nationally and is the only CPB partnership that is FSA registered.

“Historically FTFP contracts were seen as the safer route although we had been making headway in convincing clients otherwise,” says Doyle. “The OGC’s campaign to no longer recommend FTFP but to encourage collaborative procurement strongly rubber stamps what we’ve been advising for some time. Last year, we saved our customers £3M, indeed in one trade alone we saved £170,000, which underlines what could be achieved,” he says.

TEC and Utilyx have been partnering each other since 2008 and according to the OGC, they manage one of the largest energy portfolios in the private/public sector. They offer both flexible and fixed solutions, they can advise on both CRC and EU-ETS 11 and they offer a range of bureau services such as bill validation.

Kevin Doyle comments: “We consider that we can deliver first class customer service and account management. One aspect of differentiation is our being able to offer the security of FSA regulation.”

Any public sector body looking to review its energy procurement arrangements and wishing to discuss options can contact TEC on 0121 483 1963 or visit http://www.energyconsortium.org.uk.

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