Awarded to The Public Service Consultants (trading as The PSC)

Start date: Wednesday 26 January 2022
Value: £176,900
Company size: SME
Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy

Warm Homes Discount Reform Discovery

6 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 1 large

18 Completed applications

14 SME, 4 large

Important dates

Tuesday 23 November 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 30 November 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 7 December 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
BEIS require a skilled team to conduct a discovery that will examine how consumers can understand or validate their eligibility for a rebate under the reformed Warm Home Discount scheme, including use of a call centre and potentially an online presence.
Latest start date
Monday 24 January 2022
Expected contract length
8 weeks
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy
Budget range
We estimate the discovery work can be delivered within a budget of £150,000 - £211,000 (excluding VAT).

About the work

Why the work is being done
DWP currently contracts a simple call centre service for people to check their eligibility for an energy bill rebate from their energy supplier under the Warm Home Discount scheme. Around 5% of those who receive the rebate claim via the helpline, while the remainder are identified automatically and awarded a rebate.

BEIS are reforming the scheme from 2022/23 to 2025/26, resulting in a more complex decision-making process regarding rebate eligibility. Eligibility will be determined using a combination of benefit data from DWP and property characteristic data from the Valuation Office Agency, Energy Performance Certificates, Ordnance Survey and Land Registry. Most eligible consumers will automatically receive the rebate, however a small percentage will not. BEIS has committed to operating a call centre for consumers to confirm eligibility, supported by the above data sources, and for those successfully identified to be awarded the rebate.

We are commissioning a discovery looking at how consumers understand and validate their rebate eligibility which would include exploring user needs, the user journeys, data sources and current tools being used and to recommend the optimal and most user-appropriate solutions for a call centre and potential online presence including how they are best supported by the data sources.
Problem to be solved
To undertake a discovery examining how consumers can understand or validate their rebate eligibility, including the existing call centre and possible online presence, and to recommend the most fit-for-purpose course of action to the Warm Home Discount team.

This will involve investigating:
- The users, including their accessibility, assisted digital needs and likely behaviour
- The business requirements; including BEIS’s legal obligations to provide a call centre, be transparent and to provide a method of challenging the outcome.
- Analysis of current tools and requirements for transferring outcomes to new tools including managing historic data
- The data requirements, including identifying data owners, and issues around data access, sharing, storage, accuracy and quality.
- The means of querying the property characteristic data, and the interplay with DWP data
- How a solution will be delivered in line with principles of good user design, the government service manual, technology code of practice, and be able to meet service assessments as required

We would anticipate the requirement would require the following roles/capabilities, as a minimum, for Discovery:
1 x Delivery Manager
1 x Business Analyst
1 x User Researcher
1 x Technical/Data Architect
Who the users are and what they need to do
- As a consumer who is thinks they may be eligible for a rebate, I need to check my eligibility so that I can potentially receive £150 from my current energy bill
- As a consumer who is eligible for a rebate but has not been given one, I need to challenge the outcome so that I can receive my rebate
- As a consumer who has received a letter saying that I may be eligible for the warm homes discount, I need to provide more evidence to prove my home meets the eligibility criteria so that I can potentially receive my rebate
- As an energy company which is part of the scheme, I need to be able to receive data regarding eligible consumers so that I can process successful bids.
- As a call centre operative, I need to investigate and determine the eligibility of a consumer so that I can ensure a rebate is received if required and pass on the relevant information to their energy company, or alternatively explain why a consumer is not eligible if that is the case
Early market engagement
None undertaken
Any work that’s already been done
None undertaken
Existing team
The supplier will predominantly be working with:
- The Warm Home Discount team in BEIS (they will act as the client who have the requirements of the scheme); and
- A range of other stakeholders, e.g, digital and data colleagues, DWP and VOA colleagues etc

The discovery supplier will need to provide their own Delivery Manager for the project, who will connect the supplier to the internal policy/project team and the digital governance/assurance team.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
With the team working remotely, it is expected the supplier will do the same. However, if the need arises, the supplier’s team may need to travel to the 1 Victoria Street HQ in London for a meeting/workshop(s). Travel expenses will not be reimbursed.
Working arrangements
The supplier staff will be expected to be available during the typical working hours of policy team (Monday to Friday 9:30am-5pm) in order to maximise knowledge transfer.

We require the supplier to hold agile ceremonies as well as weekly update/‘show and tell’ sessions for BEIS stakeholders, which will take place over MS Teams. We would also like the team to use BEIS SharePoint folders to save any important files.

Other tools such as JIRA, Azure DevOps, Mural, Microsoft Whiteboard and Office 365 can/may be used for collaboration too.
Security clearance
All individuals must have BPSS as a minimum.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard contract

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Have experience of conducting discovery research for new service design, which includes conducting user research, in accordance with GDS/CDDO and GOV.UK standards.
  • Have experience of working across departments and teams with the ability to identify improvements and opportunities to collaborate.
  • Have experience of defining the end-to-end user journey, and developing a service vision, service design and key performance indicators.
  • Have experience of technical and data investigation and exploration, including data querying methods.
  • Have experience of agile project management delivery/skills in accordance with GDS/CDDO and GOV.UK standards.
  • Have experience that demonstrates the ability to build a strong understanding of technological constraints, existing contracts, legislation and other existing processes and systems.
  • Have experience of mapping wider services in the problem space
  • Understand good data management practice including GDPR, data protection and privacy obligations and data security
  • Have experience of designing services for vulnerable users and users with assisted digital and accessibility requirements
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Have experience of advising on government helplines and user services
  • Have experience of working at pace
  • Have experience of using a variety of research methods

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Describe the approach and methodology you will apply to Discovery, including how priorities will be determined and emerging findings presented (20%)
  • How the structure of the team and how their technical skills and experience will be used to deliver the need, including estimated resource dedicated to the project (20%)
  • A project plan with proposed timelines for mobilisation and delivery (15%)
  • Value for money, including how you will take previous learning to deliver better value for this project (5%)
  • Describe the final outputs you will provide as part of the discovery report (5%)
  • Demonstrate how you will identify risks, assumptions, and dependencies, and how you will manage these (5%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate experience of working collaboratively in a multidisciplinary agile team environment (2%)
  • Work in an agile/iterative approach with policy makers taking a ‘show’ rather than just ‘tell’ approach, to help them make informed decisions (2%)
  • Demonstrate a user-driven approach, using research and evidence to challenge underlying assumptions and present findings in a way decision makers can easily digest (2%)
  • Demonstrate experience of proactively engaging with stakeholders to progress a project and communicating in an appropriate manner for the audience (1%)
  • Demonstrate a way of working that is open, honest and constructive (1%)
  • Demonstrate experience of responding to change (1%)
  • Demonstrate experience of taking ownership of a requirement (1%)
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you please outline the timelines for the written proposal and presentation, after shortlisting?
We expect to receive the written proposals by the 5th January 2022 and for the supplier presentations to take place on the 10th January 2022.

These timelines are indicative only and subject to change.
2. Can you please advise what you would like to see in the question “mapping wider services in the problem space”?
We would like suppliers to demonstrate that they have some understanding of how the project fits into the bigger picture/landscape of the civil service and its standards.
3. Will this be a co-sourced delivery?
The delivery of this discovery is expected to be completed by the supplier who will regularly update BEIS colleagues on progress. BEIS colleagues are available to provide steers.
4. With COVID-19 and the Christmas break, and a proposed submission of Wednesday, 5th Jan. Can you advise if there will be flexibility in these timelines? We believe a short extension will allow all bidders to ensure they submit top quality bids.
Suppliers who pass the initial process will have the opportunity to open a dialogue with BEIS colleagues. Any extensions can be discussed at that point, though due to the project timelines there is likely to be only limited flexibility.
5. For an 8-week engagement, with the prescribed budget parameters and scope, will the commercial model allow the supplier flexibility to determine appropriate team size and roles?
The team suggested in the advertisement is our best estimate based on the scope we have agreed internally. It will be for the supplier to judge if different resource or team roles is required or affordable.
6. As this is a Fixed Price Engagement, we would anticipate a clear scope to be included in any tender material. Can you confirm this will be the case?
As this is a discovery phase tender, a lot of the variables are dependent on the findings of the discovery. Questions should be submitted as part of the clarification process.