As a consumer, you have already undoubtedly heard of bulk purchasing energy. Perhaps you have even joined a buying association that gives you access to lower prices and better conditions from energy providers.
Did you know that public authorities also have a purchasing body? This is managed by Sibelga and was launched in January 2015. It is part of the NRClick programme.
Before 1 January this year, this purchasing body only included certain municipalities, CPAS (Public Centre for Social Welfare) and police districts. Before all the municipal and para-municipal public authorities could join, certain contracts had to come to an end. But now they have!
More than just good rates
The idea that we are stronger together applies to the public authorities too. By coming together in one purchasing body, they can enjoy better rates and conditions from suppliers (even though the process is in fact quite complicated, as we explain in another article about the purchasing body).
And that's not all. The purchasing body also comes with other benefits. In particular:
- a considerable time saving as the institutions no longer have to organise procurement contracts individually;
- invoices are easier to manage through shared software;
- there is a single point of contact, Sibelga, for all requests and questions from participants to the purchasing body, but also from energy suppliers.
In addition, Sibelga has developed a piece of software called NRClick Move, which makes managing energy contract transfers between participants in the body and third parties easier. Let's look at the case of a CPAS for example, which provides social housing. This system enables the CPAS to easily transfer the housing's EAN code to the tenant so they can take out an energy contract in their own name.
A recent satisfaction study concluded that the purchasing body is working well. While almost half of respondents revealed billing issues with suppliers, all participants unanimously declared that they were satisfied with the information provided by employees working at the purchasing body and the contact they had with them.
Moreover, 95% of respondents said they are satisfied with the management of EAN transfers. Some improvements to the NRClick Move tool will improve the service provided still further.
In short, the public authorities' contract body has a bright future ahead of it. It will soon extend its services to regional authorities. We'll keep you updated.