The government plans to rapidly update an online advice tool aimed at helping citizens take action to reduce their energy bills and access the financial aid they are eligible for.
The service was developed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and launched last month. It is intended to replace the Simple Energy Advice website, which contains government-backed information but, unlike the new site, is not hosted on GOV.UK.
The new service is already up and running but, as the cost of living crisis deepens and pressure on ministers to do more intensifies, BEIS is already looking to make improvements that will allow the online tool to better support citizens.
The department is seeking to appoint a vendor to help build a new unified service through which users can check their eligibility for government support programs, as well as an integrated system for making referrals to such schemes.
“Over the coming months and years, we intend to enhance the website with additional features to enhance the customer experience,” BEIS said, in a contract notice. “[We want] to provide additional features that integrate with the online customer journey and provide consumers with information and choice about government home improvement funding programs. There are currently several government programs online with different eligibility criteria and program administrators. Consumers must go through a single eligibility checker that covers multiple programs and be directed to a program that suits them.
In addition to owners seeking advice on efficiency measures and support programs, BEIS also wants to provide a platform that allows public officials to access data to support policy development and the operation of schemes. funding.
Bids for the project are open until midnight August 16, after which the department hopes to name a supplier by the end of October. The successful bidder will carry out a work program lasting approximately five months, which will include an alpha and beta phase, at the end of which BEIS expects the delivery of “profitable and ready-to-go services”.
A budget of up to £575,000 is available to deliver the upgrades – a figure that covers both internal and external costs.