BBC appoints eaga as the preferred supplier to the Digital Switchover Help Scheme
The BBC has selected eaga plc (eaga) as the preferred supplier to deliver the Digital Switchover Help Scheme, subject to contract.
Up to seven million people will be eligible for support from the Digital Switchover Help Scheme to convert one television set to digital during switchover between now and 2013.
People eligible for the Help Scheme are those 75 and over, able to get certain disability benefits, or registered blind or partially sighted.
The support they can get from the Help Scheme includes:
Help to choose the right equipment option
Easy-to-use equipment that suits their needs
Installing it at their home
Fitting a new aerial where needed and possible
Someone to call for help when people are getting used to the equipment.
eaga will contact each eligible person directly and will deliver or install, in line with their particular needs. They will provide the scheme contact centre, equipment and home installation.
eaga has been selected from a shortlist of three following a competitive dialogue and rigorous procurement process.
The Help Scheme is projected to cost £603 million, of which about £500m was allocated to the estimated service supplier costs. The actual terms of the contract are commercially confidential. The service provider contract is for five years until switchover is completed in early 2013.
Peter White, Chief Executive, Digital Switchover Help Scheme, said: "We are very pleased to announce eaga as the preferred supplier of the Digital Switchover Help Scheme. We look forward to working in partnership with them in the ITV Border region during 2008 and thereafter across the country.
"Our purpose is to make sure that all those eligible people that need help making the switch to digital TV receive the support they need from us, so they continue to receive television after switchover. We will continue to work to reach the people most at risk of being left without a television and ensure they are given the assistance they need."
John Clough MBE, eaga Chief Executive, said:
"The digital switchover process is a hugely important development for broadcasting in this country. Ensuring that the most vulnerable homes in society are able to play a full part in the process is vital, and we are extremely proud to have been chosen as the preferred bidder to run the Digital Switchover Help Scheme.
"This Scheme goes to the heart of our work as a force for social inclusion, and the skills and expertise we have developed as a market leader in delivering to vulnerable customers on a national scale."
The next region to switch to digital will be the ITV Border region, with the Selkirk transmitter first to switch in November 2008. Copeland in Cumbria has already successfully switched to digital in November last year, and about 2,800 people there have already received the Help Scheme's support in a one-off lead project.
Notes to Editors
About the Help Scheme
The Help Scheme covers all households in which one person, at the time of switchover, is:
Aged 75 years or over
Has a significant disability – that is, claiming disability living allowance, attendance allowance or constant attendance allowance
Is registered blind or partially sighted.
All those who are eligible will be contacted directly by post or other means in advance of switchover in their region. They will be able to apply from the time they are contacted until up to one month after the last transmitter switch in that region.
The Help Scheme is available for £40. For those eligible people who are receiving income related support, the Help Scheme is provided free of charge.
About DSHS Ltd and the procurement process
The BBC has set up DSHS Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary, to administer the Digital Switchover Help Scheme as set out in the Scheme Agreement between the BBC and the Government.
Last year the Digital Switchover Help Scheme provided help and support to around 2,800 people in Copeland, Cumbria – the first area to fully switch to digital television in the UK. Capita was the service provider for that one-off project.
A budget of £603 million for the Help Scheme was ring fenced in the BBC Licence Fee settlement. This contract falls within this budget and is worth around £500m.
The procurement process for the main part of the scheme has been under way since last summer. The three shortlisted bidders were Capita Group plc, eaga plc and Vertex. Bidders were assessed on how well their proposals would deliver the requirements of Help Scheme, the quality of their bids and overall value for money.
DSHS Ltd intends to sign the contract with eaga plc in a few weeks, following the standstill period required under the Public Procurement Regulations 2006.
About eaga plc
eaga plc is the UK's largest residential energy efficiency provider. The company is a leader in the provision of innovative and sustainable services, products and solutions that address the environmental, social and energy efficiency objectives of Government and the private sector both nationally and internationally.
eaga operates across the UK and in the Republic of Ireland, India and Canada employing over 4,000 people.
eaga was established in Newcastle in 1990 to lead Government-funded efforts to improve the living conditions of vulnerable people living in cold, damp and energy inefficient homes across England.
eaga holds the contract to deliver the £1.5 billion Warm Front programme in England, the cornerstone of Government's target to eliminate fuel poverty by installing energy efficiency measures in vulnerable homes by 2010. eaga also works with devolved nation governments to deliver similar schemes across the UK.
eaga plc was admitted to the Official List on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange on 7 June 2007.
Since 2000, eaga has invested over £3 million in the independent eaga Partnership Charitable Trust which funds research into solutions to fuel poverty.
BBC Press Office