During the last couple of months, members of the FM and Construction National Strategic Task and Finish Group have been working towards adopting a more centralised and coordinated approach in our efforts to adhere to national net zero targets, decarbonise our estate and promote green energy initiatives with the view of meeting environmental sustainability aspirations, whilst taking advantage of available funding opportunities.
With the above in mind, an Energy Questionnaire was issued to FRS in June 2022. The FM & Construction National Strategic Task and Finish Group has now received twenty-one (21) responses and the findings are summarised below as follows:
· 61.90 % of the respondents stated that they do not have a good understanding of the PSDS funding process;
· 100% of the respondents stated that they do not have sufficient expert in house resources or they have partially sufficient resources; and
· 80.95% of the respondents confirmed that they would benefit from a national energy consultancy contract
The proposed scope based on the feedback received will include (but not limited to):
· Upskilling of in-house teams and provision of ad-hoc advice;
· Support in the design of reporting mechanisms for carbon emissions;
· Identification of grant funding opportunities and sites / projects that would be eligible for such funding streams;
· Support in the development of centralised project pipelines;
· Specialist consultancy support which is not limited to decarbonisation to enable the Fire Sector to deliver against wider sustainability goals;
· Assistance in developing and submitting funding applications;
· Assistance in writing specifications and managing heat decarbonisation projects;
· Support to review and generate opportunities/options around current energy demand management policy, practices and mechanisms, to help introduce effective monitoring and management applications, to reduce overall energy consumption/carbon footprint;
· Specialist support in designing and delivering projects; and
· Support around whole life costs/return on investment
The result of this engagement process was shared with the FM & Construction Delivery Sub-Group and subsequently presented to the Emergency Services Environmental Sustainability Group (ESESG) members. ESESG endorsed the need for a centralised approach.
With the above in mind, the Task and Finish Group members (with support from the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Environment team) will proceed with the delivery of a national procurement for the Provision of Energy Consultancy Services which will be available for use by the wider Bluelight Sector.
The proposed High Level Procurement Strategy will be discussed with Task and Finish Group members this week and the final draft specification and final Procurement Strategy will be presented to ESESG at their meeting on 8th September 2022.
In the coming weeks, I will also be liaising with the Home Office Sustainability Lead with the view of ensuring that the commissioned services take into consideration the Greening Government’s commitments.
For the purpose of enabling the design and delivery of a robust process, as well as the identification of the most appropriate route to market, I am keen to commence a formal pre-tender engagement process with those stakeholders who currently have available solutions in place which the Bluelight Sector could benefit from (via one-on-one virtual meetings).
I fully appreciate that we are at the heart of the holiday period, however in light of the next phase of PSDS funding looming we need to proceed as promptly as possible. As such, we are looking at completing an initial series of individual meetings by 1st September 2022, with a second round of engagement meetings post 8th September.