The challenge

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) had a legacy platform that was ageing and expensive and needed to be brought up-to-date. A new service was required to meet targets for improved usability, management and use of data, security, value for money, future flexibility and technical delivery.

What we did

MHCLG sought an agile, flexible team to deliver an alpha for a new digital service replacing the existing Energy Performance of Buildings Registers service (EPBR). The service facilitates the lodgement and retrieval of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for Home buyers, their agents and Government agencies, covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland. EPCs are required to comply with EU-regulations which improve energy efficiency and support home-buying, selling and renting of properties.

Notbinary helped the Department transition from an incumbent supplier at Alpha stage, taking on full responsibility for service delivery through successive stages.

Key to our approach was:

  • Rapid and wide-ranging research and consultation to understand the context, progress, and challenges, avoiding any duplication of work.
  • Open, honest analysis of achievements so far.
  • Clear thinking on changes to design and approach.

This included liaison with the incumbent supplier and the Department’s Digital team to produce a target architecture and a recommended migration roadmap for Beta.

We undertook primary research, calculating latent economic efficiencies for a sample of Local Authorities, testing the cost-reduction hypothesis from moving to common service-patterns and commodity computing. Our work included:

  • Synthesis and data analysis of multiple secondary studies (from government / LGA / Socitm).
  • Analysis of secondary pricing information (labour market studies, technology company rate-cards, and proprietary information).
  • Extensive primary research ranging from high-level qualitative studies (e.g. semi-structured interviews with council CEOs) to detailed qualitative analysis (with reference to sources such as management accounts, contracts databases, applications databases, etc).

We developed detailed recommendations for the transition to Beta and eventual Live service. This supported the transition from an ageing on-premise hosted database to an open source, cloud-based model, in line with the Technology Code of Practice. We also contributed to the recommendations for the ongoing Target Operating Model, as the service moves from outsourced to Department managed, and supported the production of the Outline Business Case for the Minister and HMT.