Procure Plus has helped boost the energy efficiency of almost 900 homes across the North West, by forging a partnership between South Liverpool Homes and property development and construction training company, Top Notch Contractors.


South Liverpool Homes approached Procure Plus looking for support on its photovoltaics (PV) scheme that aimed to meet the housing provider’s carbon reduction objectives. However, soon into the project, the Government announced changes to the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT), which would see funding for PV schemes decrease by up to 64 per cent from February 2016. This meant that the installation and registration of solar PV systems across South Liverpool Homes’ housing stock would need to be completed within a year.


The project was put out to tender as a lot on Procure Plus’ planned maintenance Installation Framework, with Top Notch Contractors appointed in July 2015, and Solarking UK named as preferred suppliers. The scheme started in September 2015 was originally planned for completion by September 2016, yet in light of the looming decrease in funding rates, the timescales were brought forward by ten months.


“Social landlords invest in PV to ensure their tenants benefit from electricity bill reductions. However, they rely on a robust level of FIT funding to deliver these schemes,” said Jackie Roach, operations manager at Procure Plus. “With this in mind, it was vital we helped South Liverpool Homes to deliver the projects quickly before funding was reduced.”


To accelerate the project, Procure Plus provided additional support to the partnership by creating an intensive yet realistic installation programme. This included daily monitoring and timed targets to manage the additional materials and equipment required in the tight timescales.


The end result was 898 solar PV installations completed and registered before the deadline and all within South Liverpool Homes’ £3 million budget.

“The PV scheme should have taken at least six months to complete, but the proposed changes to the FIT funding meant that this was just not possible,” explained Andrew Roberts, operations manager at Top Notch Contractors. “There was a big risk that we wouldn’t be able to source the solar panels and the tools required for the project, but Procure Plus had the technical experience and longstanding relationships with Solarking UK to ensure everything arrived in time.”


Concluding, Gareth Rigby, head of assets at South Liverpool Homes, went on to explain: “The changes put a lot of pressure on the project, but this is a great example of how strategic partnerships between organisations can really deliver and add value within communities.


“Our tenants can now benefit from living in more energy efficient homes and all the cost saving that brings, and we’ve been able to make the most of Government funding available.”