Leading London-focused property developer Telford Homes is the first housing provider to sign up to a new energy management service from Insite Energy. Known as the ESCo Manager Service, the new offering covers all the same services as traditional Energy Service Companies (ESCos), but on a single-year contract and with a fixed and transparent service fee based on actual costs.
ESCo Manager went live at Stone Studios, Telford Homes’ new development of 120 luxury apartments and characterful sky villas in Hackney, East London, in December 2021.
Under the new contract, Insite takes over handling of the operation and maintenance of the entire heating infrastructure, as well as fulfilling all ESCo management and administration responsibilities on a not-for-profit basis on behalf of Telford Homes. Insite has been providing heat network services across much of Telford’s housing portfolio since 2013 and was already running the heat metering and billing at Stone Studios from April 2021, using the Guru pay-as-you-go (PAYG) system.
“We’re always looking at ways to improve services and value for money for our residents,” said Anthony Atkinson, Estates and Customer Service Director at Telford Homes. “Having worked closely for some time with Insite on metering and billing for many of our developments, we have co-developed the additional roles that Insite bring as ESCo Manager in order to enhance the customer experience and promote the delivery of a holistic, high quality heat network service.”
Emily Lister, Head of Business Development at Insite Energy, commented, “The thinking behind ESCo Manager is that it enables developers to hand over all their specialist heat network responsibilities to our team of experts, freeing them up to focus on what they do best. Unlike a traditional ESCo, we’re not taking a profit on each unit of heat. The charges are based solely on real energy and maintenance costs and fixed management fees. That means fair and transparent tariffs for residents and full recovery of costs for the client. And if they’re not happy with our service for any reason, they’re not tied in.”
An Energy Service Company (ESCo) is a commercial structure created specifically to produce, supply and manage the local delivery of decentralised energy to a ‘whole site’ development. Typical ESCo contracts last for the expected asset life of the main plant – between 10 and 25 years – to enable the ESCo to recoup its capital expenditure. This can lead to dissatisfied residents being shackled indefinitely to high prices and poor service. But with ESCo Manager, because Insite is managing the services on the client’s behalf, it can offer single-year contracts, ensuring clients and residents retain control of their heating services.
The ESCo management services Insite will be providing at Stone Studios include fuel procurement; tariff setting and reviewing; administration of residential heat supply agreements; subcontractor management and auditing; asset maintenance and lifecycle management; financial administration, including management of cashflow and a sinking fund for asset replacement; reporting; and adherence to regulations and best practice. Construction of the development, which also includes 15 commercial units and 33,000 square feet of affordable workspace, is due for completion in December.