State University of New York

Procurement of Electricity

Each of 64 campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) is responsible for its own electricity purchases. In December 2002, several campuses joined together to form the SUNY Energy Buying Group. The purpose of the Group is to reduce the cost of electricity for its members by purchasing their power in bulk directly on the State’s wholesale electricity market.

We examined whether SUNY was maximizing its opportunity to make wholesale purchases of electricity and found that SUNY had made significant progress in this area. Most campuses either belonged to the Energy Buying Group, were not able to join the Group (e.g., campuses located in New York City and Long Island could not join because of constraints in the electricity transmission network in that region), or were obtaining low-cost power through other means (such as self-generation). We commended SUNY and campus officials for their efforts in this area, which were reportedly saving about $1.5 million a year in electricity costs. We also recommended certain actions that could be taken by SUNY to increase campus membership in the Energy Buying Group, such as evaluating the feasibility of adopting a risk management program to smooth out the effects of volatile market prices on individual participating campuses.

For a complete copy of Report 2007-S-22 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.