The Client – Alt HAN Co
The Alternative Home Area Network Company (Alt HAN Co) is a special purpose company set up by the BEIS (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) now DESNZ (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero), a UK Government department. Alt HAN Co has been established to support its policy to provide all energy customers in Great Britain with a smart meter, specifically those living in multi-dwelling and large premises where the standard equipment will not work.
Alt HAN Co’s primary purpose is to provide the means to allow competing energy suppliers to work together to resolve the problem of reaching energy customers living in buildings where the proximity of the smart meters and In-home devices are not capable of connecting to the smart metering ‘Home Area Network’ as they’re too far apart from each other. As such, these energy customers would not be able to access the benefits of smart metering.
Engage Consulting were contracted to support BEIS and energy suppliers in resolving the problem; by setting up Alt HAN Co as a delivery instrument, commercially viable technical solutions could be developed and contracted out to enable the delivery of the Government smart metering policy.
Over the lifecycle of the delivery programme running from 2016 through to 2021, Engage had around ten Engage consultants fulfilling a number of senior key roles providing services vital to the delivery of Alt HAN products and services. In 2016 our consultants managed the initiation project to set up and embed the regulatory governance from within Energy UK on behalf of its members.
By 2017 we had completed the regulatory governance implementation. Our consultants moved on to budget development, including securing the funding required through the DCC Charging Mechanism to run a delivery programme, facilitating the necessary approvals to appoint the Board; enabling Alt HAN Co to establish itself as an independent organisation operating under its own governance.
During this initiation phase, Engage Consulting provided:
- overall budget management
- securing funding for the initial project
- secured funding for future delivery programmes,
- project management of the initiation and delivery requirements,
- procurement and contract management of service providers,
- Forum and Board Chair and Secretariat services supporting the regulatory governance set out in the Smart Energy Code (SEC).
In 2018 our consultants ran and managed the procurement to appoint the delivery partners for Programme Delivery (Baringa), Business Support (Gemserv) and Commercial Strategy development (PA Consulting).
Engage personnel formed the management team to run the Alt HAN Co on behalf of energy suppliers under the responsibility of a General Manager.
The management team provided the following:
- leadership and management of all the service providers,
- sponsorship of the Alt HAN Delivery Programme,
- financial control and budget management,
- commercial and contract management,
- service provider performance management,
- operational oversight
- technical assurance.
There were between 40 and 50 personnel on the delivery programme. Engage represented energy supplier interests in those business side roles, ensuring they were getting value for money from the service providers and that Alt HAN Co was meeting its SEC objectives. We also provided technical assurance over the Alt HAN technical requirements, operational service requirements and operating model requirements, all within a very complex stakeholder environment.
We worked closely with BEIS, energy suppliers and the delivery service providers to develop the Commercial Strategy and technical and operational service requirements to support the procurement of the Alt HAN Services. Ensuring the appropriate approach was applied to diligence.
Engage provided oversite over the competitive procurement in stages for the technology development and operational services, concluding with Alt HAN Co signing a contract for the manufacturing of devices (Siemens and L+G) and operational services (Cap Gemini) in 2019. Engage consultants continued as a management team directing the delivery programme, maturing the business and providing stability.
Our team was in place from 2017 through to 2021; in 2019, an insourced leadership team was to be established, starting with the appointment of the Managing Director, who was the company’s first employee, which was a significant milestone.
Engage continued to support the newly appointed Managing Director, initially transferring operational and financial control but taking on different internal leadership team roles whilst recruiting the enduring.
Once the new leadership team was in place, the Engage team implemented transition and knowledge transfer plans; until the business was mature enough to proceed independently. Additionally, providing support to the leadership team and commercial team:
- to evaluate proposals for the enduring technology contract,
- design testing regimes to support Alt HAN Co manage its assets,
- standing up the enduring contract management processes,
- managed the process for Alt HAN Co to become ISO27001
- managed the process for Alt HAN Co to and 45001 accredited,
- supporting the future Target Operating Model development
- standing up the operational processes for the enduring business support function.
Engage consultants also drove the Crowded Meter Rooms initiative forward from its inception, gaining the support required from industry for the initiative to become a project that Alt HAN Co could lead itself.
The Final Outcome
Alt HAN Co is now a fully-fledged operational business with its own employees, providing services to energy suppliers to enable them to meet their obligations by providing technical solutions to connect the smart metering equipment in complicated buildings, allowing those energy customers to access the benefits of smart metering.
Whilst we have achieved our main objective to build the foundations for Alt HAN Co, leaving it with a clear roadmap to provide its enduring services; Engage continues to provide consultancy services and providing technical assurance, energy market and technical expertise to Alt Han Co.
Engage Consulting has been instrumental in establishing the Alt HAN Co; ensuring the complex journey from inception to being an independently operational business, was delivered with professional and invaluable expertise and support.
Engage provided leadership to the delivery programme before handing over to myself Paul Cooper as Managing Director. Engage also led the ramping up of activities to ensure a Alt HAN Co had an established change programme with robust, and well regarded, engagement and governance.
As Managing Director, I am grateful to Engage for handing over a business with both momentum and a strong team which is continuing to support the senior leadership team today. Engage continued to deliver a first-class service; their trusted team of consultants, ever-present with integrity and professionalism, have been invaluable to Alt HAN Co and the industry.