When Flintshire County Council was looking for a partner to provide new boilers for its social housing stock, Potterton tendered for the contract with an offer combining energy efficient technology, proven reliability, usability and streamlined purchasing to win the business two years in succession.
As part of a rolling refurbishment programme to upgrade properties in its portfolio, Flintshire County Council needed to replace the boilers in many of its homes across the region. The older properties requiring improvement had inefficient and unreliable Band D-G rated heating appliances installed, so it was important that the replacement boilers could deliver fuel and cost savings for residents.
Nick Hoggarth, central heating contract manager at Flintshire County Council, said: "When we put the contract out to tender for a boiler supplier for our refurbishment programme, there were several key points that needed to be addressed by the successful candidate. The first was energy efficiency - many of the low income families and vulnerable residents living in our properties struggle with the cost of heating and hot water as energy prices continue to rocket. We knew that making their homes more energy efficient would help residents to spend less of their income on gas bills to help them out of fuel poverty.”
Potterton was awarded the contract to supply new heating units for the council's refurbishment programme in April 2012, and in the 12 months that followed 1,200 ageing boilers were replaced with SEDBUK Band A-rated Potterton Promax wall hung appliances. In addition to having a high energy efficiency rating for impressive fuel economy, the Potterton Promax appliances boast ultra-low NOx emissions to make them cleaner and safer in operation. Simple to install, the Potterton Promax has compact dimensions for flexibility when siting, and can also be fitted in an unventilated cupboard for a tidy and space saving end result.
The Potterton Promax is a stalwart of the portfolio for social housing. It has proven reliability in the field and has been robustly designed from brass, copper and stainless steel for durability and reduced maintenance. Flintshire County Council had experienced issues with product reliability in the past, so having the reassurance of a tried and tested product made Potterton a preferred partner.
The Potterton Promax is itself a very user friendly product. Its simple user interface has dials and live gauges, rather than a digital display, and a prominent reset button so choosing the right settings couldn't be easier for a resident. Potterton has trained the team contracted to fit the boilers for Flintshire County Council, and briefed them on how to deliver the best operational advice to customers, making the transition between heating systems as easy as possible for the resident.
Each Potterton Promax boiler comes with an easy to follow user guide for quick reference, but if a resident has a question or problem after installation, heateam, Potterton's service division, is more than happy to help. If someone needs to physically check or repair the boiler, heateam will dispatch an engineer within 24 hours, guaranteed, so that a tenant never has to go days without heating or hot water. They confirm the appointment by SMS and the engineer will call to confirm the expected arrival time to save the resident waiting unnecessarily.
The fact that the Council requires just one single model makes it possible for the boilers to be manufactured to order, thus reducing manufacturing, purchasing and installation costs. The chosen model, the Potterton Promax 28kW boiler, is a modulating unit, able to reduce output down to 18kW when required, so is suitable for a range of heat and hot water requirements.
Potterton tendered for the contract for Flintshire County Council through Fusion21, which provides public procurement frameworks to the sector. Fusion21 appoints framework partners following an extensive OJEU compliance process. Its frameworks offer products and services for the repair and maintenance of public sector assets, and secure competitive pricing for the local authorities and housing associations that use it.
Sarah Whelan at Fusion21 said: "Our framework is different to other procurement schemes in that the levies paid by supply chain partners like Potterton are used to add social value to a project - this means the creation of sustainable jobs or employment schemes so that local residents benefit directly from investment in their area. By using Fusion21, Flintshire County Council is giving local communities more than just warmth through home improvements; they are giving them the means to build a better life for themselves and through employment & training opportunities.”
Nick concluded: "Potterton has proved to be a reliable partner for Flintshire County Council and an integral part of our rolling refurbishment project team. The boilers are reliable and efficient, and the company's commitment to tenant education and aftersales service has ensured that our residents have been able to get the most benefit from their new heating appliances, including better levels of comfort and significant savings on their bills. With results like that, appointing Potterton to provide a further 1,200 units for this year's refurbishments just made good sense.”