Texas schools could save $40 million in new power market

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 21, 2002 — The early results of retail electric choice in Texas are in — with the state’s school districts emerging as winners.

In the new competitive market that opened in January, large numbers of independent school districts are jointly purchasing power under the Energy for Schools (EFS) program. EFS, a Political Subdivision Corp., was formed so that school districts can purchase power as a group. Early estimates indicate total savings could run as much as $40 million for the first year.

EFS was created by the state’s largest Educational Service Center (ESC), Region IV, and another ESC, Region VI. These and 18 other ESCs are entities established by the Texas Legislature to provide professional programs and leadership for the state’s 1,050 school districts. “EFS’s mission is to maximize the benefits of electricity deregulation in Texas for school districts,” says Bill McKinney, Ph.D., the executive director of the Region IV ESC. “It’s true that there is strength in numbers and EFS provides the schools with a mechanism to pool power loads, thus driving down one of the larger costs of operations.”

Texas schools have aggregated electric power needs through EFS, thanks in part to R. W. Beck Inc., a management consulting and engineering firm with extensive experience in retail electric deregulation.

“In the wake of all the poor publicity regarding energy deregulation, this is a great example of a retail success story and R. W. Beck was pleased to have been a prime contributor,” says Brian Barrett, senior consultant with R. W. Beck’s Austin office.

Founded in 1942, R. W. Beck provides services to the public and private sectors in the areas of energy, water resources, solid waste and telecommunications, and works collaboratively with clients to develop and implement new corporate strategies and business processes.

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