Facilities Engineering Institute saves Commonwealth millions in energy costs

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute (PSFEI) has announced the results of its Department of General Services (DGS) electricity shopping event, where the institute solicits the accounts of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania agencies for lower electricity supplier pricing. 

A total of 315 accounts were solicited using the PSFEI-created Energy Risk Management Application (ERMA). By comparing published utility company rates (or the price to compare) to bids from prospective suppliers, PSFEI enabled DGS to lock in lower rates for 214 accounts, spread across 19 agencies, for a total of more than $4 million in savings for the Commonwealth.

“We look forward to passing the savings on to our clients each time we hold a shopping event,” said Kurt Homan, PSFEI energy program manager. “Sometimes, the price to compare is the best deal. But, sometimes, through the healthy competition we create among suppliers, we really do end up saving our clients a decent amount of money on their energy costs.”

By participating in the electricity shopping events, PSFEI clients have accrued annual cost reductions of more than $11.6 million over the past three years, according to Devin Pennebaker, PSFEI energy management consultant and the team member responsible for electricity purchasing.

“We try to beat the price to compare every time,” said Pennebaker. “This time, the rates were also lower than the current contracted amounts, so that will amount to tangible savings for the Commonwealth.”

Each shopping event begins with electricity suppliers logging in to ERMA and submitting bids by a predetermined time (typically by 11 a.m.) on opening day. Once the bidding window closes, suppliers are no longer able to place new bids or change existing offers. The PSFEI energy team then combs through the bid packages one-by-one, working with DGS personnel to compare the lowest-cost bids for each term length. Once DGS selects a term length, a notification is then sent to the winning supplier. 

PSFEI will hold its next electricity shopping event May 24, when accounts for COSTARS members will be reviewed. For more information about PSFEI energy management services, visit psfei.psu.edu/Services/Energy/Energy-Management.aspx

The Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute provides facilities engineering services, education programs and energy management to Pennsylvania state agencies, the federal government and nonprofit organizations. The organization aims to advance its customers’ facilities engineering objectives through applied research, education and innovation.

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Last Updated May 08, 2018