RFP 8-14

Policy opportunities for more efficient residential water heating


CLASP is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the environmental and energy performance of the appliances and related systems we use every day, lessening their impacts on people and the world around us. CLASP develops and shares transformative policy and market solutions in collaboration with global experts and local stakeholders.

Since 1999, CLASP has worked in over 50 countries on 6 continents pursuing every aspect of appliance energy efficiency, from helping structure new policies to evaluating existing programs. With the objective to accelerate the implementation of comparable, transparent, and effective standard and labeling (S&L) policies globally, CLASP’s Global Research Program has been working toward deepening S&L best practice knowledge by producing technical studies in collaboration with S&L experts worldwide.

CLASP seeks to contract qualified Consultants to assist in developing a study for identifying, quantifying, and comparing the policy opportunities for more efficient residential water heating. Information on the scope of work, Consultants’ responsibilities, reporting and deliverables is provided below, as well as the project timeline and application instructions.


MEPS and labelling schemes developed for water heaters around the world have traditionally been based on a specific set of standards and metrics differentiated by water heater type (based on energy source, whether is instantaneous or storage type, etc.). For each subtype, there are specific energy performance metrics that express the ratio of heating energy delivered to the energy consumed. These numerous differentiated classifications can actually act as a barrier to energy efficiency improvement through inhibiting comparison across water heater technology classes.

CLASP and its partners at Waide Strategic Efficiency Ltd (UK), ARMINES (France), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (the USA) and CEIS (Spain) recently completed a scoping study for residential water heaters with the objective to identify research needs that will lead towards the successful benchmarking of policy settings for this energy end-use and will thereby support policymakers in better understanding their options to improve water heater energy efficiency.

In order to encourage the adoption of the most efficient types of water heaters, a functional approach should be considered (as opposed to a technological approach) for this benchmarking study, such as that taken by the EU on its recently adopted regulation on water heaters which allows end-users to compare different technologies and their energy performance on a single efficiency scale.1 Such a functional approach is an essential element to foster the development of the most efficient technologies, offering the biggest potential for energy savings in water heaters. 

The Global Research team is seeking the support of one or more Consultants to analyse the first order savings potentials that would be realised from a shift towards the most efficient water heater types in a number of economies.

Scope of Work

The Consultant will be responsible for developing the following tasks in the study of the Policy opportunities for more efficient residential water heating, with the aim to analyse first order savings potentials from a shift towards the most efficient water heater types in the Chinese, Indian and the US markets:  

I. Gap Analysis

A gap analysis shows where there is a dearth of existing policy coverage that could produce significant savings were the gap(s) to be addressed. The gap analysis should be conducted for each economy under the scope (listed above), by comparing the existing policy coverage in the economy (by water heater type), and overlaying the information on market share by water heater type, to see if there are significant policy gaps against preponderant water heater types. 

Refer to the scoping study for partial information on market characteristics and possible data sources for some economies

II. Derivation of energy, CO2 and economic savings scenarios from systematic move towards a more efficient mix of water heater technologies 

The objective of this analysis is to identify and quantify the policy opportunities in each economy from encouraging the adoption of the most efficient types of water heater and the migration away from the least efficient. This includes a derivation of the energy savings potential from adopting an alternative high efficiency water heater technology (e.g. solar or heat pump based instead of storage tanks heated by electric resistance) rather than choosing an incrementally higher efficiency product from within one of the conventional technology classes (e.g., better insulated electric resistance storage tanks). The development of this exercise should consider long range energy scenarios that mapped movement towards solar and heat pump water heating and take into account economic considerations, interaction with space heating (e.g. via combi-units where these are prevalent), and any limiting factors (e.g., availability of the energy source, etc.).

III. Policy recommendations (by economy) 

Based on findings of Tasks I and II, develop a set of policy recommendations targeted to each economy under scope, not only considering MEPS and labels but also policies that stimulate technology switching.  

Reporting & Deliverables

The Consultant will be required to provide the following outputs over the course of the project:

  • Participation in project kick off meeting with CLASP within two weeks of contract inception;
  • Submit task reports for each of the tasks identified, working closely with the CLASP Global research team.  All reports should be submitted first as draft reports for review and comments by CLASP team;
  • Bi-weekly summary of activities undertaken as part of this project, via email;
  • Timely and detailed responses to questions and comments from CLASP team members related to this project.


The Project is expected to commence in Oct 2014 and to be concluded within six months of inception. 

Information for Potential Applicants

Companies and organizations that wish to bid on this project must first register as a CLASP Implementing Partner. Registering is easy, and can be done via the CLASP website before final submittal.

Additional information about CLASP’s selection process is available here.


Interested parties should submit separate technical and financial proposals as electronic files. The file should be named as per the following example:  “Contractor Name: RFP8-14

The technical proposal should include:

  • Company profile, including a summary of qualifications relevant to this assignment;
  • CVs and related summaries of experience and qualifications of applicable staff who would be engaged in the project;
  • Detailed approach and methodology for the implementation and management of the assignment;
  • Detailed timeline for all project activities and deliverables for the project within the timeframe indicated above.

The financial proposal should include: 

  • Detailed budget that includes a breakdown (in days) of the level of effort and costs associated with each team member that will be engaged in the project.
  • Detailed budget for each task (per economy) and estimates of additional budget requirements to increase the scope to 1, 2 or 3 more economies (potentially Japan, the EU, Brazil or Mexico).

If necessary for the selection process, CLASP may request additional information from any applicant.

Proposals should be submitted via the CLASP website using the “Submit Bid” button above and filling out all the requested information. The deadline for proposal submission is October 3, 2014. Proposals submitted directly to anyone at CLASP will not be accepted.

All questions may be addressed to Ana Maria Carreño at acarreno@clasponline.org. The last date for submission of questions related to this RFP is September 25, 2014. We request all inquiries be made by e-mail and not by phone.  


Expected level of effort:
CLASP will select a Consultant team based on the quality of the proposal, the proposed level of effort and approach, and associated costs using a Quality and Cost-Based Selection (QCBS) method. CLASP recommends that the Scope of Work be used as an indication of the total budget or expected level of effort.

Eligibility to submit applications:
CLASP does not restrict the application from a previously awarded Consultant (of a scoping study) to a request for proposals of a subsequent study. We reserve the right to make a final decision if there is a potential conflict of interest.

Policy scope:
CLASP is mostly interested in policies at the national or federal level. If there is a successful example of policies for water heaters stimulating technology switching at a state or municipal level in the economies under study (for example, California vs. US DOE policies), it can be included as a best practice; however, we are not expecting a detailed account of policies at the state or municipal level for countries under the scope.

Selection criteria:
Proposals will be evaluated using a Quality and Cost-Based Selection (QCBS) method, with weights of 80 percent towards project proposal quality and team and organization experience, and 20 percent towards proposed costs. Additional information about CLASP’s selection process is available here.

Proposal coverage:
CLASP’s preference is to have a single team conducting the analysis to ensure consistency in the methodology, and also to facilitate project implementation and coordination in analysis and reporting (as opposed to having a separate team for each economy). We encourage individuals or organizations to partner with other individuals/organizations in order to meet the requirements of the RFP (e.g., country and/or product coverage). The roles and tasks for each team member should be identified in the proposal, so that their contributions are clearly outlined. 
CLASP will not consider proposals for only one country under the scope.

Summary of Bids and Decisions

In keeping with CLASP's commitment to a fair and transparent evaluation of all bids, we have provided a basic summary of the bids received under this RFP as well as the rationale for the selections.

A three person review team evaluated the proposals according to pre-defined criteria regarding the proposed approach, methodology, project execution plan, organization and teams qualifications and experience, and cost projections in accordance with the RFP. Proposals were scored based on a Quality and Cost Based System (QCBS) totaling 100 points, with 80 points allocated to the technical proposal evaluation and 20 points allocated to the financial proposal evaluation.

This was a competitive solicitation, and technical and financial proposals were received from three organizations. Of the three proposals, two were selected as finalists as they met all the RFP requirements as per the scope of work and country coverage. While the two bidders submitted strong proposals and were considered viable candidates for successful implementation of the project, the submission from Waide Strategic Efficiency Ltd with ARMINES, Hot Water Research, Top10 China and MP Ensystems Advisory was considered superior due primarily to the combined expertise and qualifications of the project team and the approach to the proposed methodology based on an understanding of the project requirements as stated in the RFP; their proposal demonstrated a good understanding of the policy landscape and was considered the most suitable for this product category by the selection committee.