Renfrewshire Council currently own and maintain 12,000 social housing properties. The Council is committed to promoting affordable warmth and tackling fuel poverty and is delivering projects to improve their housing stock.
In 2015, the Council’s Housing Investment Team undertook a pilot project involving real-time sensor technology to measure internal environmental conditions of six properties including temperature, humidity and CO2 emissions. The pilot involved monitoring 6 properties after carrying out energy improvement works.
The sensors allow the Council to more easily monitor the indoor temperature and humidity levels of the properties. Early detection and intervention to prevent damp and rot are able to be carried out before damage escalates creating poor quality housing and requiring greater repair costs. In addition, the technology can help identify tenants who may need energy advice and who can then be signposted to the Council’s Energy Advocacy service.
The Council applied for funding to roll out the contract. They received the Scottish Enterprise Can Do Innovation Challenge Fund and also used funding from the Communities Housing and Planning Housing Revenue Account Capital Programme. This funding enabled them to upscale and plan to install approximately 1,100 of the sensors, over the life of the contract.
The requirement was for a single contractor to supply an end-to-end service to monitor the internal environmental conditions including temperature, humidity and CO2 levels, within the Council’s social housing properties.
The dimensions of the sensors were to be comparable to a standard wall light switch to ensure the devices cause minimal impact. These should be installed by the Council’s in-house team, under appropriate warranties provided by the contractor. The sensors were to be battery powered and tamper-proof and the battery should be replaceable to avoid having to replace the entire sensor.
In 2019, Renfrewshire Council prepared a Procurement Strategy for the contract. The strategy was informed by commodity supply market analysis and consultation with key stakeholders. The research, which informed the strategy, revealed a gap in the market for an innovative product.
The requirement for the provision of a single contractor who could supply the housing sensors went out to tender in 2019. The procurement was for a supply contract with related Service and Installation works was conducted via an Open Procedure under the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015. The contract period was set at two years with the option to extend by 24 months, subject to contract performance and funding availability. The Award Criteria was split into Quality 60%: Price 40%.