By Calvin Cornish

There are a lot of factors that go into managing an association’s energy:

  • Keeping track of when contracts expire
  • Obtaining bids from multiple suppliers
  • Timing your energy purchase correctly to see the most savings
  • Presenting the pricing during more than one board meeting (because they rarely decide on the first day)

Now multiply those factors by 5 or 6, and you have the energy management responsibilities of a portfolio property manager.

It can be exhausting!

Fortunately, there are solutions available that help make energy management easier for portfolio property managers. One solution is enrolling the properties they manage in an energy buying group.

What is an Energy Buying Group?

An energy buying group is a great solution for both portfolio managers and the property management company. In a buying group, all participating associations have the same energy rate, supplier, and contract end date. The buying group is managed and maintained by an energy advisor.

How can a Buying Group benefit me?

1) Lower Energy Rates

Including your properties in your company’s buying group could result in lower energy rates than what they could have obtained individually. As associations enroll in the group, the larger total usage increases the group’s wholesale purchasing power. The group can then leverage this for more competitive pricing from suppliers.

Additionally, if the group’s total usage exceeds a specific threshold, it could qualify for a reverse auction. The reverse auction process is transparent and naturally competitive, offering the group greater savings.

2) One Point of Contact

A buying group gives you one person to contact for any questions about your properties’ energy: the organizing energy advisor. Your energy advisor keeps track of the contracts for all the buying group participants and can get billing and customer service issues resolved quickly.

Consider Enrolling Your Portfolio

Keeping up with the energy contracts and decisions for multiple properties can be time-consuming and daunting. An Energy Buying Group can lower energy rates for all your properties and take the energy-decision pressure off you. Contact your energy advisor to learn more about buying groups and see if they make sense for your property management company.


About the Author

Calvin has served as a Senior Energy Advisor at Nania Energy Advisors since 2010. As the Director of Community Living and Real Strategic Energy Advisors Calvin CornishEstate Services, he specializes in preparing property management boards to make informed decisions on energy through proper industry education. His clients include apartment complexes, condominium associations, and senior living facilities. In his free time, Calvin enjoys music and coaching youth sports.

Calvin can be reached via email at or phone at (630) 225-4554.