Electric markets, procurement strategies for organizations is topic of webinar

July 11, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Deciding which factors businesses and organizations should consider in choosing an electricity supplier will be the topic of a free, one-hour, web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension, at 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 26.

Pennsylvania was one of the first states to deregulate energy in 1996. With deregulation of the energy market, local public procurement units and state-affiliated entities can choose their energy supplier. The webinar will explore the benefits of a deregulated market and the energy-procurement process for Pennsylvania enterprises and town planners.   

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania offers a cooperative purchasing program called COSTARS. It serves as a conduit through which registered and eligible local public procurement units and state-affiliated entities are able to cost effectively and efficiently identify suppliers with whom to do business.  

Webinar presenters Scott Harford and Kevin Dean, energy-management consultants with Penn State's Facilities Engineering Institute, will focus on using the COSTARS program.

"One of the biggest challenges that comes with shopping for energy is understanding the terms and conditions of the suppliers' contracts," said Dean. "The COSTARS program completely eliminates this hurdle by utilizing the commonwealth’s request for quotation, which is written with the COSTARS members’ best interests in mind."

This service provides COSTARS clients with a transparent, competitive and user-friendly procurement process, administered by a group of energy and procurement professionals who provide direction and answer questions, added Harford.   

"Having knowledgeable professionals preparing accounts for inclusion in the procurement process helps ensure each and every client gets the best possible price for their electricity," he said.

The webinar is free, but registration is necessary. To register, visit the Penn State Extension Natural Gas Events webpage. More information is available by contacting Carol Loveland at 570-320-4429 or at cal24@psu.edu.

The presentation is part of Penn State Extension's Shale Gas Education monthly webinar series. Upcoming webinars include the following:

— Aug. 23: "Marcellus Shale Landowner Coalitions: Form, Function, and Impact," presented by Grace Wildermuth, doctoral degree student in rural sociology at Penn State.

Previous webinars, publications and information also are available on the Penn State Extension natural-gas website, covering a variety of topics such as liquid natural gas; seismic testing; methane emissions; water use and quality; Marcellus and Utica basins; natural gas reserves; gas-leasing considerations for landowners; legal issues surrounding gas development; and the impact of Marcellus gas development on forestland.

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Last Updated July 11, 2018