Community Choice Aggregation Web Portal Service Request for Proposals

For release August 21, 2015

Download PDF of this RFP here.

For more on Community Choice Aggregation Program, visit this Community Toolkits page.

 

PURPOSE

Sustainable Westchester (SW) is accepting proposals to deliver a web-based portal for customers in a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program to manage their accounts and find program information.

The purpose of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to solicit proposals from qualified firms with experience with website development and CCA program management, to conduct a fair and extensive evaluation based on criteria described below, and to select the candidate most prepared to serve the needs of Sustainable Westchester. Sustainable Westchester is not obligated to award the project if submitted proposals do not meet the evaluation criteria.

DEADLINE 

This RFP represents the initiation of an open and competitive process. Proposals will be accepted until 5pm EST August 28, 2015. Any proposals received after this date and time will not be accepted.

CONTEXT

Sustainable Westchester is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization selected by the New York Public Service Commission to manage the first CCA demonstration program in New York State for its member municipalities in Westchester County. A web portal is necessary for customers to enroll/disenroll, change account settings, view updated pricing information, calculate savings, and house basic program information.

SW has successfully facilitated, launched, and managed several powerful sustainability initiatives in Westchester County including: Energize NY, Solarize Westchester (Round 2 launching in September), and Municipal Solar Buyers Group. SW is also on the project team for 10 NY Prize Community Micro-grid Feasibility Study Grants (NYSERDA).

Sustainable Westchester and its predecessor organizations have been working to bring CCA to New York for several years and successfully petitioned the Public Service Commission to implement a pilot program, approved on February 26th 2015.  SW plans to issue an RFP for energy supply by early October.

Municipalities throughout Westchester County (12 as of the issuance of this RFP) have passed local laws to authorize their participation in the SW CCA program, and the program is set to be operational in November 2015 representing roughly 75,000 households and small businesses.

As the first CCA program in New York State, municipal officials throughout the rest of the state are closely watching the activity in Westchester, and we expect that many will use the SW program portal as a model for their own web presence as they develop CCA programs in their communities.

As a result, we believe the winning bidder will set the standard for web-based CCA management in New York and have the opportunity to feature their portal design and expand their profile to prospective clients as CCA expands statewide.

PROJECT SCOPE

The project requires a 6-12 month commitment for design, development, coding, licensing, and hosting of Sustainable Westchester’s new web portal. Substantial content and text will be provided to the selected bidder by Sustainable Westchester.

Successful proposals will demonstrate the capability to meet the following basic criteria:

  • Inviting aesthetic, and user-friendly interface
  • Consistency of design across all pages/sections of the portal
  • Ability to migrate current web content to new portal
  • Data security, scrubbing, and confidentiality capability
  • Independent access for SW to edit content, data storage
  • White label capability, prominent display of SW logo throughout
  • All software and licensing requirements included
  • Compatibility with all current web browsing technology and upgradeable
  • Ability to work closely with SW on coordination of project tasks and resources
  • Perform comprehensive testing on portal and database
  • Hosting of both the portal and database which collects and tracks site visitor data

In addition, portal must deliver the following concrete functionalities. Bidders should describe and give examples of how capabilities will be demonstrated:

  • Display clear CCA program description
  • Up-to-date price assessment/comparison
  • Household and small business savings calculator
  • Linked with utility account database
  • Opt-out/disenrollment mechanism (customers granted access with discrete account number)
  • Opt-in/enrollment mechanism
  • Opt-up mechanism (i.e. choose between default and “green” options)
  • Display program terms and conditions
  • Display dynamic event calendar
  • Sign-up mechanism for email (or other) notification of related programs

PROPOSAL GUIDELINES

If the organization submitting a proposal plans to contract any work externally to meet the requirements described below, this must be clearly stated in the proposal. Additionally, all costs included in proposals must be inclusive to include any subcontracted work, and include the names of subcontractors.

All costs must be itemized to include an explanation of all fees and costs as well as a proposed timing of those fees and costs. For example, a submitting organization may specify that costs will not be incurred until Sustainable Westchester has signed contracts with one or more Energy Supply companies, and that payments will not be due until Sustainable Westchester has received like or better payments from that winning Supply company.

It is Sustainable Westchester’s strong preference that an organization submitting a proposal considers this engagement as an asset for the winning firm to separately, profitably and independently reac out for CCA participation throughout the state of New York, and will therefore submit a low- or no-cost proposal.

Contract terms and conditions will be negotiated upon selection of the winning bidder for this RFP. All contractual terms and conditions will be subject to review by the Sustainable Westchester legal committee and will include scope, budget, schedule, and other necessary items pertaining to the project.

RFP AND PROJECT TIMELINE

Evaluation of proposals will be conducted from August 29, 2015 until September 3, 2015. If additional information or discussions are needed with any bidders during this window, the bidder(s) will be notified.

The selection decision for the winning bidder is intended to be made no later than September 4, 2015. Upon notification, the contract negotiation with the winning bidder will begin immediately. Contract negotiations should be completed by September 11, 2015. If costs associated with the contract exceed certain amounts, Sustainable Westchester’s decision will be made by its Board of Directors, and will therefore meet a somewhat less aggressive schedule.

Understanding that Sustainable Westchester retains the right to issue no award at all, notifications to bidders who were not selected will be completed by September 7, 2015.

Portal must be functional according to criteria listed above by October 23, 2015.

 

BUDGET

All proposals must include proposed costs to complete the tasks described in the project scope.

SW prefers project to be completed gratis, in exchange for the market exposure afforded by this opportunity.

BIDDER QUALIFICATIONS

Bidders should provide the following items as part of their proposal for consideration:

  • Description and examples of experience with planning, building, and hosting CCA or similar program portals
  • Testimonials from past clients
  • Anticipated resources to be assigned to this project
  • Timeframe for completion of the project
  • Project management methodology

PROPOSAL EVALUATION CRITERIA

SW will evaluate all proposals based on the following criteria. To ensure consideration for this Request for Proposal, your proposal should be complete and include all of the following criteria:

  • Proposal suitability: proposed solution(s) must meet the scope and needs included herein and be presented in a clear and organized manner
  • Organizational experience: bidders will be evaluated on their experience as it pertains to the scope of this project
  • Previous work: Bidders will be evaluated on examples of their work pertaining to web design and hosting as well as client testimonials and references
  • Value and cost: Bidders will be evaluated on the cost of their solution(s) based on the work to be performed in accordance with the scope of this project.  Gratis proposals will be prioritized
  • Technical expertise and experience: bidders must provide descriptions and documentation of staff technical expertise and experience

Bidders must submit a digital copy of their proposal to the email addresses below by August 28, 2015 at 5pm EST to both of the persons listed below:

Leo Wiegman, Executive Director

Sustainable Westchester

leowiegman@sustainablewestchester.org

Glenn Weinberg, Researcher

Sustainable Westchester

gweinberg@jouleassets.com