Success Story

University Achieves Decarbonization Goals with Retail Renewable Solution

Usource has been the trusted energy advisor to a large, AASHE Gold-rated University for over a decade. Our partnership has resulted in millions of dollars in energy savings, while delivering on carbon reduction goals, utilizing power purchase agreements (PPAs), retail-delivered renewable energy and renewable energy credit (RECs) solutions. In 2018, the University announced their Climate Action Plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2037, with an interim goal of 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Our team was tasked with developing a renewable energy solution that delivered on the interim 2030 goal while managing to the University’s annual energy budget.

Our energy procurement and renewable energy teams worked with the client’s internal stakeholders and energy supplier network to develop a retail-delivered renewable energy solution that fit the University’s specific carbon and energy requirements. Our data-driven, multifaceted approach included:

  • Analyzing the University’s current energy usage and anticipated demand
  • Comparison of renewable energy, retail product structures and risk analysis
  • Initiating a comprehensive RFP process with leading suppliers
  • Financial analysis of best offers and a competitive negotiation to ensure University objectives were met in the final negotiated deal

The resulting energy strategy was structured to enable the University to establish an annual budget, which includes a forecasted dollar amount for the PPA settlement. This forecasted amount is then trued up annually, prior to the next budget cycle. PPAs can be a challenge for institutions, as they are a great tool to help achieve sustainability goals, but carry large financial settlement risks. Often institutional clients have little flexibility on their annual budget, and the prospect of having large swings in a PPA settlement can be a challenge to overcome. Usource was able to craft a strategy that provided both a budget rate and a documented process to manage the PPA monthly settlement process.

Retail-delivered renewable energy products are gaining popularity in the marketplace, but not all suppliers structure their products to fully align with customer objectives. Many organizations simply do not possess the in-house energy expertise and deep supplier network relations required to navigate this nuanced and complex process. Thanks to the ongoing consulting and advisory services that are integral to Usource’s client relationships, we were able to deliver the ideal long-term result to the University.

Download the case study.


  • Consolidated two PPAs into a retail supply structure
  • RFP process delivered best-fit energy contract
  • Reduced commodity price risk exposure
  • Accommodated for increased energy use and facility development plan

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