Manchester City Council – Energy Management Unit

Manchester and Bolton Councils shared Energy Management Service

Briefly describe the initiative/ project/ service

Manchester City Councils Corporate Procurement Team has been delivering a successful collaborative service with Bolton Council for some time. In response to a request from Bolton Council, this collaboration was extended to include the leadership and delivery of Energy Management services for Bolton Council including its schools, and the housing organisation Bolton at Home. With the energy management function already embedded into the procurement function at Manchester, it was a logical next step to extend the collaboration to address an area of service at Bolton where both financial and environmental savings were possible, but where there was a shortage of resource and expertise.

Why do you think it should win this award?

This Energy Management collaboration is a real working example of how authorities can achieve more with the same limited resources
by sharing best practice, pooling capacity and avoiding duplication. In order to make this a success, the Manchester team have had to demonstrate considerable flexibility in where, when and how they work, often going well beyond their normal role boundaries to ensure opportunities have been realised and goals and deadlines have been met. Co-locating between Manchester and Bolton and still maintaining normal service delivery on the “home front” has been a challenge. However, the team have literally gone the extra mile, week in and week out to do this, and shouldered the extra responsibility and workload with good humour and a determination to get the job done.

What are the key achievements?

The expansion of the service to include Bolton Council has created the opportunity for staff to develop their skills and experience to meet the challenge of working across two authorities. Developing trust and strong links between the two authorities has been vital, as has re-booting the relationships with suppliers to drive change and achieve real measurable progress. As the new arrangements have bedded in, positive feedback has been received from many quarters about the step change service quality. Supplier satisfaction has also dramatically improved with streamlined processes, the introduction of key contact points and the effective eradication of aged debt and late payment. In addition there have been significant financial benefits for Bolton Council. By making improvements to utility procurement routes, pro-active contract management, and the provision of a comprehensive technical support service, to date over £1.75 million have been saved.

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