WEST CHESTER — Chester County, along with the Chester County Intermediate Unit, all Chester County school districts, Montgomery County and various municipalities, fire and police and non-profit organizations will save an estimated $5.6 million over the next two and a half years through an electricity procurement initiative.
Chester County’s Board of Commissioners led the collaboration with the Chester County Intermediate Unit and invited county school districts, surrounding counties and local municipalities to join together to procure electricity as a group. The group that opted to participate then entered into a “reverse auction” to gain energy savings.
The electricity procurement initiative helps address some of the strategic priorities of the Chester County Commissioners. “Part of our strategic plan is to exercise smart financial management and make government cost effective for taxpayers,” said Chester County Commissioner Chair Carol Aichele.
County Commissioner Terence Farrell said: “Staff in our Department of Procurement and General Services and Department of Facilities Management researched the possibilities for collaboration in electricity procurement, and developed an innovative approach in dealing with the issue of electricity deregulation.”
“This initiative is a great model for how collaborative efforts among governmental entities can have a positive outcome on cost savings for everyone,” added Commissioner Kathi Cozzone.
Joe Lubitsky, director of administrative services for the Chester County Intermediate Unit, agrees that this is a good example of how schools, municipalities, non-profits and other organizations can work together to achieve significant savings.
“We had observed other parts of the commonwealth experiencing 20 to 40 percent (electricity) rate increases and began to aggressively seek solutions to lessen the impact on our local economy,” said Lubitsky. “Prior experience working with the Chester County Joint Purchasing Board for school supplies and the Health Care Consortium for medical coverage taught us that working together and bidding for services as one entity should result in considerable cost reductions and reduced rates.”
All 12 Chester County school districts worked collaboratively with the county, and based on the needs of each district and its power profile, were able to capitalize on the consortia’s purchasing power to reduce district rates, on average, by eight percent.
Participating school districts include: Avon Grove, Coatesville Area, Downingtown Area, Great Valley, Kennett Consolidated, Octorara Area, Owen J. Roberts, Oxford Area, Phoenixville Area, Tredyffrin-Easttown, Unionville Chadds Ford and West Chester Area.
The municipal governments participating are Montgomery County, and West Grove, Charlestown, East Pikeland, East Vincent, Schuylkill, Upper Uwchlan, West Whiteland, Westtown, East Coventry, North Coventry and East Goshen townships.
The non-profits and other municipal organizations are the Devereux Foundation, Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company and the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police force.