Evergreens Foundation Utility Management Case Study

The Evergreens Foundation: An Overview

What the Organization Does: The Evergreens Foundation (The Foundation) is a management body comprised of six municipalities. They manage 191 Lodge/Supportive housing units, 152 senior self-contained units and 40 community-housing units.

Affordable Senior Housing Management in Alberta

The Foundation provides affordable housing for Alberta seniors either through the Lodge Program or the Seniors Self Contained Apartment Program. The Foundation also assists households in financial need by means of the Rent Supplement Program. The Foundation is a member of ASCHA which is a member focused not-for-profit society. ASCHA’s primary role is to provide resources and member programs for the housing industry so that providers can offer the very best housing experiences for Alberta seniors.

Utility Cost Optimization for Housing Management Bodies

The Challenge: Managing Utility Costs in a Constrained Budget Environment

Cost control and cost certainty is important for any housing management body given the budget structure that these types of organizations face. Increases to their provincially allocated budgets do not keep up with the cost increases in operating their facilities. Utility management for housing groups can prove challenging given the large number of natural gas, electricity and streetlight utility meters that require management as well as the complexities involved with trying to get a fair/reasonable rate for the actual utility consumption. As such, The Foundation was looking for a utility program that would:

  1. help optimize the costs associated with their utility consumption of natural gas and electricity
  2. make it easier to manage all of its metered sites including their billing needs
  3. Review distribution and transmission rates to insure they were within the correct rate category.

Strategic Utility Program: Aggregated RFP Approach

8760’s Comprehensive Solution

8760 worked closely with the ASCHA to develop a utility program that would provide real benefit to all participating members with regards to the management of their utilities.

  1. A key element of the program is the aggregated RFP approach for procuring electricity and natural gas pricing for participating members. By aggregating The Foundation’s consumption volumes with other government participants, 8760 was able to secure much more competitive pricing through a controlled and auditable RFP process that meets the standards of the New West Partnership Trade Agreement and the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
  2. In addition to great pricing, 8760 serves as the energy department for The Foundation and manages all billing issues, and any site adds or drops which removes this burden from internal resources at The Foundation.
  3. 8760 also conducted a Distribution and Transmission (delivery charges) review and were able to optimize these costs, resulting in savings of over $12,000 per year.

Achieving Significant Cost Savings in Energy Consumption

Summary of Results: Tangible Benefits for The Foundation

By utilizing ASCHA’s utility program through 8760, The Foundation achieved the following results:

  • A strategic, fully managed utility program that provides significant cost savings ($200,000 over 4 years) and cost certainty with respect to their natural gas and electricity consumption.
  • Over $12,000 a year in cost savings with respect to delivery and transmission charges. This savings occurs in perpetuity.
  • A trusted utility expert that handles all of their administration needs including billing issues, billing inquiries, site adds and site drops, annual budgets and provides market insights on a quarterly basis to help with planning and decision making.

Streamlined Utility Management for Improved Operational Efficiency

Client Testimonial: The Impact of 8760’s Services

The Evergreens Foundation had a very good relationship with our previous energy company serving our needs and we were wary to speak with other energy groups. However, the difference in service levels and overall costs with 8760 were clear from the moment we had our first meeting with the 8760 team. Their process was very clear, easy to understand and above all transparent. Once we received our pricing back it was clear we would be switching. We are looking at nearly $200,000 in savings over four years in our energy consumption bills, and $12,000 annually for the life of our buildings on our distribution and transmission charges. That $12,000 annually gets funded straight back into out maintenance program and now helps us to maintain our buildings. This funding is more important than ever with the current provincial budget constraints and challenges to find efficiencies within our programs. The ability to have 8760 do the distribution and transmission review for free is a no brainer and these savings have made a significant difference on our operating budgets. I feel all foundations regardless of their existing contracts or providers should have 8760 do a distribution and transmission review to see if there are savings available.

We are all looking for solutions and it was very refreshing to have a group show up and save us some money and take some workload off our shoulders. We are now able to look at our utility budget projections and costs for future years with a confidence we never had before.

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