CPC do our best to ensure that our framework portfolio covers all of your institution's requirements. Therefore we have partnered with The Energy Consortium (TEC) in order to provide you with access to EU-tendered energy frameworks.

If you have any questions about the detail below, our Helpdesk are ready to answer any questions you may have. Alternatively if you prefer, you can contact TEC direct at enquiries@tec.ac.uk

Who are TEC, exactly?

TEC are a member owned public buying organisation (PBO) offering compliant EU tendered energy to public sector bodies. As a not-for-profit organisation, TEC can be relied upon to provide a full range of cost effective energy supply contract arrangements which reflect the best solutions available in the market. TEC provide an annual benefit statement which sets out the financial benefit of using their frameworks. In addition the TEC team deliver a managed service covering the complete energy supply cycle with the selected supplier. For a college, membership would be £250 per year.

TEC promote the 4 cornerstones of an effective energy management strategy and these are:

  • Buy at the right price, in the right way and through an appropriate intermediary.
  • Only pay for what you use - check your bills.
  • Only use what you have to. Improve energy and carbon efficiency including consideration of investment which will improve energy efficiency. The cheapest unit of energy is 0p / kWh - the one you don't use.
  • Report, report, report. Controlling spiralling energy costs and associated carbon emissions is mostly down to change behaviour but those who consume the energy need to know how much their activity influences overall cost. You can only manage what you can first measure.

Members get access to a range of energy market intelligence which would enhance their knowledge about the key drivers in the energy markets which would impact on their energy costs and choice of energy contract. Once they have gathered energy data on your behalf, you would also be provided with a web-based reporting tool allowing you to build your own reports on energy cost and consumption, assisting with accurate budgeting.

Why go to TEC for Energy instead of running an independent tender?

TEC frameworks attract a wide range of energy suppliers all of whom bid on a consistent basis for energy supply contracts, that is to say same payment terms, same contract length and the same basis and structure of quotes. Often these contract offers are complex and difficult (or almost impossible) to compare. TEC use state of the art industry software to compare offers.

KPIs for all suppliers on TEC frameworks means their customer service is managed to ensure delivery of the highest standards of service, where an independent tendered contract may simply take pot luck with service being delivered by the supplier's call centre approach.

TEC OJEU-enabled frameworks mean that you will not have the expense of running your own tender or the risk that an error might lead to a challenge or unsafe contract award. It is also fair to assume that using a TEC framework will increase the number of received bids as opposed to running an independent tender.

What frameworks are on offer?

Fixed Term, non-flexible framework - This framework allows for the supply of electricity and natural gas. The energy type tendered (HH, NHH or gas) will determine which of the 16 supplier can / will bid as not all suppliers provide all products. Award under the mini-competition is determined in part by price but also based on a Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) score which takes other factors into account including payment terms and customer service performance.

The energy cost itself (commodity) for the period of the contract is fixed on the day of mini-competition and is based on wholesale prices on the day of tender, leading to some risk around making a decision to 'buy' all energy for a period on a single day.

Flexible Energy Framework - Under this framework, the energy for the member will be added to an aggregated basket with all flexible contract users (currently around 60, with the volume making it one of the largest aggregated baskets in the UK energy market) and the energy bought against a rolling 3 year strategy, with parts of the total requirement being bought 'piecemeal' to certain levels and for certain forward periods as much as 3 years in advance.

This is a genuine risk management approach to buying energy and works on the basis that you have an opportunity to buy at a better price if you can make multiple purchases than if you simply buy on one day.

Advantages Disadvantages
Fixed Term, Non-Flexible Contract
  • A defined recurring process to help in resource planning.
  • Price locked if wholesale energy prices rise after purchase.
  • A known price before and largely during contract period.
  • No risk management, although time to market should be a consideration in when to fix. A 1 in 250 gamble?
  • No ability to take advantage if wholesale energy prices fall.
  • Premiums on many aspects of the price for the privilege of 'full fixed'.
Flexible aggregated basket Contract
  • Based on making purchases over a long period so optimises purchasing.
  • Still the ability to buy some of the energy within the contract period, when prices are often lowest.
  • Multiple purchases and strategy means if prices fall, member can benefit.
  • No premiums on non-commodity element or volume tolerance penalties on commodity.
  • Allows TEC to defend a budget whilst passing on the benefits of lower prices.
  • A Basket approach gives access to a method of purchasing often not available to smaller energy users.
  • More challenging to budget, as often the billed costs are not known until weeks in advance of consumption.
  • Varying billing costs can make administration more difficult.
  • Securing prices can be challenging when there are unpredictable global events which impact on wholesale energy prices.

Using any of these energy supply frameworks, members also get the advantage of a managed service, under which supplier performance on matters such as billing and account administration are closely monitored on a supplier-by-supplier basis. This means that there will always be an escalation route for any unresolved issues or even complaints, meaning that the supplier experience via a TEC framework should be very different to that which you may have had in a direct relationship. You'll also have access to genuine energy experts who have all the knowledge you need to solve your energy supply issues and leave you free to concentrate on your 'day-job'.