In 2014 QMUL unveiled its flexible energy procurement contract for Gas and Electricity. As a large public sector organisation with significant energy needs, QMUL can be vulnerable to hikes in energy prices. This can be seen as a risk, because predicting the amount of energy QMUL needs in future years depends on fluctuating variables like weather, occupancy and plant performance.
To address this QMUL adopted a flexible energy procurement model. The flexible model means an energy broker purchases and trades energy based on QMUL’s demand and the current market rate, which changes daily, to produce savings. Savings are made by being able to buy energy at a number of different times, within an agreed trading price range, to manage risk, and undercut the inflated unit rate of a fixed term contract.
The move from fixed procurement to a flexible procurement model for energy allowed QMUL to benefit from market changes, avoid the ‘buffer’ always built into fixed term contracts, and to remain in profit no matter how the market moves. Changing the procurement method has therefore reduced the risk of the energy spend increasing to an unsustainable amount.
Through the contract QMUL has also appointed a ‘green’ electricity provider. This means that, for all of QMUL’s main electricity meters, the money that we invest in energy goes towards ‘green’ forms of electricity generation instead of fossil fuels.
QMUL reports on the performance of the contract and the amount of energy that we use in our Annual Report.