Elizabeth Daigneau is GOVERNING's managing editor.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
With energy costs still reasonable, now more than ever is the time to lock in prices. An innovative program in Boston helps small businesses do just that.
With energy costs still reasonable, now more than ever is the time to lock in prices. An innovative program in Boston helps small businesses do just that by assisting them in the purchase of electricity and natural gas through a citywide energy buying group. Most small businesses typically buy in small quantities and are unable to negogiate the discount that larger companies receive. The Boston Buying Power initiative enrolls small businesses and uses their collective buying power to purchase energy as a large group at long-term fixed rates. Since it got off the ground this February, the program has enrolled more than 700 commercial, industrial and nonprofit companies, and generated an average savings of 19.2 percent, for a total savings of $1.135 million. Members of the program, which is administered by the city's Department of Neighborhood Development, also have access to an online utility management tool that helps businesses with energy budgeting, cost tracking, forecasting and savings analysis. Environmentally conscious businesses can also opt for green power, made up of wind, solar, hydro and other clean sources of energy.