Navigating Network

Procurement Processes

Innovation Procurement Guide

Energy Network Procurement Processes

Procurement and contracting processes often vary from network to network and can be complex in nature.  

For innovators and/or suppliers engaging with the energy networks, having access to trusted information and advice about what to expect when it comes to procurement, can make navigating the journey that little bit easier.  

Being clear from the outset about the different procurement stages and what’s required at each one, helps to manage expectations on all sides and keep the focus on the ultimate goal of driving ideas through to Business as Usual (BAU) deployment.  

In response to innovator feedback and in collaboration with our energy network partners, the EIC has developed an Innovation Procurement Guide to provide a stage-by-stage overview of existing network procurement processes, along with a detailed explanation of what third parties need to know about each stage.  

Innovation Procurement Guide

Download your free guide to energy network innovation procurement, developed by EIC partner networks to provide innovators and suppliers with a set of guidelines that are as unified as possible.  


 Procurement FAQs

My product has been developed in conjunction with the Networks using NIA funding, do I need to go through a procurement process for Business as Usual (BAU) deployment?

Innovators that have developed a final product or service that’s ready to be offered as a solution for the networks will first have to go through a procurement process with the network before the solution can be purchased. A high-level flowchart showing the 3 different procurement routes is included in Appendix 1 of the Innovation Procurement Guide 

I have secured innovation funding (e.g. SIF or NIA) to develop a solution in conjunction with the networks, what procurement process do I need to go through before the innovation project can start?

It depends on the specific circumstances but the innovation project may be exempt from certain procurement rules. 


I have a solution ready for deployment, what procurement process do I have to go through?

Where an innovator has a solution ready for deployment, the procurement process that needs to be followed will depend on the value, according to the Utility Contract Regulations: 

(i)   For goods or services over a particular value the network will be required to undertake a competitive tender process following one of the allowed procedures and to advertise the opportunity for submissions on the Find a Tender (FTS)

(ii)For goods or services under the UCRs’ value thresholds, depending on the circumstances the network may run its own competitive tender. The value threshold can be seen here

How long will the procurement process take?

Time estimates very much depend on the particular procurement route. The timescales below are under optimal conditions, such as fast evaluations of submissions and limited negotiations. Each stage may take significantly longer if there are negotiations, or if trials of products are required. Regulated tender timescales could be much longer if there is a complex requirement and a contract notice on FTS is required. 

  •      Single Source = 2-4 weeks
  •      3 Bid Process= 5-8 weeks
  •      Regulated Tender = 7-26 weeks

I have gone through the procurement process with one network company, will the process be the same for the other networks?

Each energy network will have slightly different processes in place, but the journey with the majority of EIC partner networks will include the following four stages:

(i) Need Recognition; (ii) Procurement Process; (iii) Approval and Contract Execution; and (iv) Deployment and Payment. 

You can find out more about each of these stages by downloading the EIC’s free Innovation Procurement Guide

The EIC can help guide you through the specific requirements and treatment of your IP as part of accessing the funding available - ensuring that your IP is protected but also releasing investment into your business.

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