Energy Management

First in Class Energy Solutions for Colleges and Universities

3 min read

Higher education institutions often have unique requirements for their energy management strategies. In many cases their fiscal years begin on July 1st, they have longer budget planning terms (three years or more), and are occasionally operating as a non-profit institution. In order to do what’s best for their business, faculty and students, they continue to challenge themselves and look for budgetary savings while still wanting to maintain a certain level of sustainability and environmental consciousness.

Given these factors, how do colleges and universities achieve budgetary savings AND sustainability on their campuses? As a start, a great strategy for long-term customers like those in higher education would be to utilize a three-year flexible solution for power or gas purchasing. This allows customers to remain at least 50% covered in the third year of their contract while creating budget certainty up-front and the ability to save within their 36-month cycle. Beyond this, higher education institutions also require a level of certainty so that they can apply for funding needs. By placing an open position with a tool like MarketWatch, their energy buyers can know when the market hits their pre-determined strike price. Based on the institution’s hard or soft trigger rules, Constellation is able to execute quickly and seamlessly to take advantage of the market’s fluctuation.

A layered strategy like what is described above is just one option in a variety of other customizations that Constellation’s market professionals can work with energy buyers to create. This allows for a solution that matches the business requirements of the college or university and makes energy management effortless. Constellation provides additional tools that make energy management a bit more effortless. There are reports available to monitor a customer’s budget and keep track of the market and opportunities on the go like Energy Manager.

A specific example is a non-profit institution located in the Greater Philadelphia area. They took this approach and are currently looking to complete their purchases and budget for 2020.  In order to meet their sustainability goals, Constellation was also able to provide them with 10% of their load matched by Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). To round out this customer’s energy strategy we also supply their full natural gas requirements and continue to keep them up-to-date on winter weather and supply activities thorough contact with their Business Development Manager and targeted communications.

Another key factor to our success in serving this customer comes from continuity and redundancy in our relationship with them. We maintain relationships and ongoing touchpoints with their VP of Finance, Head of Facilities and Chief of Sustainability so that if any changes occur, all stakeholders are aware of the energy management strategy in place. Over the course of our relationship with this customer, we have been asked to bring new team members up to speed and explain the success and thought behind this strategy and their energy budget. This has eased their internal transitions and kept them on a long-term, successful plan.

For more information on how Constellation can help fuel success at your college or university and additional programs we can provide like Efficiency Made Easy and energy infrastructure, please visit


Guest Author: Andrew Singer, Vice President, East – Retail C&I Sales
Andrew is responsible for developing and executing Constellation’s strategy to provide integrated energy solutions that help major commercial and industrial corporations, federal agencies, and trade associations buy, manage and use energy. From electricity and natural gas procurement to renewable generation and conservation, he provides expert advice to two-thirds of all Fortune 100 companies on how to solve and manage their complex energy-related issues and optimize their budgets. With over 20 years of his career at Constellation and its predecessor companies, Andrew has developed a unique view on the evolution of the energy marketplace and how various entities have been responding to these changes, from the deregulation of markets to the adoption of disruptive energy technologies.

You may also be interested in these related articles: