GO-TIME: Commonwealth Saves Local Governments $1.8 Million Through Innovative Electricity Program

January 12, 2018

Harrisburg, PA –Local governments, school districts and others will cut their electricity costs by $1.8 million over the next four years, thanks to COSTARS, a state purchasing program that allows members to purchase materials at discounted prices, said Ken Hess, deputy secretary for the Department of General Services.

“One of the Wolf Administration’s priorities is to create a ‘Government That Works’ by adding or creating value for the customers we serve,” Hess said. “The Expanded Electricity Procurement Program has proven its value as a successful way for COSTARS members to reduce their electricity bills and generate savings for their local taxpayers.”

The state’s cooperative purchasing program, or COSTARS, allows its members – including municipalities, public authorities, school districts, and certain non-profits – to use state-awarded contracts to purchase a large variety of materials and services at lower prices.

Since 2009, a collaboration between the Department of General Services’ Bureau of Procurement and the Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute (PSFEI) has competitively bid and awarded contracts for more than 7,000 electricity accounts among state government and a limited number of COSTARS members saving $4 million annually through 2019.

Last year, through the Public Utility Commission, PSFEI amended its electric broker’s license to expand the electricity procurement program to all COSTARS members.

“With the success we have experienced in saving our COSTARS members millions of dollars on their electricity bills, we are looking to increase the participation at our next electricity bidding event in April,” Hess said. “The more COSTARS members that participate in each event, the better the opportunity for obtaining the lowest possible pricing.”

To participate in the commonwealth’s next electricity bidding event in April, interested COSTARS members need to register with Scott Harford of PSFEI, at sharford@engr.psu.edu or 814-863-2090 by March 31, 2018.

The Expanded Electricity Procurement Program is part of the department’s broader efforts to save money on goods and services purchased by state government, which have resulted in over $140 million in savings over the last two fiscal years. Overall, state agencies have saved over $373 million through this and other initiatives through GO-TIME.

For more information on COSTARS or how to participate in the program, visit COSTARS online.

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