Energy & Sustainability
Management Consultants

Energy Purchasing Cooperative Provides Choices to Lower Costs

Posted in the BWCC Special Insert of Business Monthly Summer 2011

Today, more than 88% of large businesses in Maryland have switched to a third-party energy supplier to reduce costs.  Why is this percentage much lower for small- to medium-sized businesses, at one-third the number of enrollments when compared to large businesses? The answer is simple: lack of purchasing power, leverage, support and expertise.

Large businesses use enough power to negotiate favorable rates. Small- to medium-sized businesses do not consume as much power as these large companies, and are not offered the best rates in the marketplace.

The Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber (BWCC) has solved this problem through the commercial energy cooperative (Co-Op) managed by CQI Associates.  The idea is simple. Instead of each business securing a third-party energy supply on its own, the Co-Op uses the leverage of the group to benefit each commercial account.

CQI Associates aggregates the kilowatt-hour (kWh) load of the commercial accounts, which reduces the overall cost.  The benefits your business or organization receives when you join the commercial energy co-op are as follows.

• Members receive a fixed rate on electric and natural gas bills — guaranteed not to change during your contract term.

• The Co-Op offers Chamber members the benefit of group buying power, which results in lower rates.

• Deregulation has sparked healthy competition. As the energy market changes in the future, the Co-Op will negotiate on the members’ behalf.

• The Co-Op consultant, CQI Associates, has 16 years of industry experience and professionally manages the co-op program.

• CQI Associates is a client advocate. Members do not have to navigate the energy choice decisions alone.

• The Co-Op offers options to obtain up to 100% clean, renewable, wind-powered electricity.

The Co-Op increases members’ purchasing power in procuring electricity and natural gas at competitive rates for budget stability and savings.  Market rates are at record six-year lows, and pricing for 12, 24 and 36 month contracts are at historic lows. The opportunity to lower costs is the best since the first year of de-regulation in 2004.

Learn how your business can benefit from joining the Commercial Energy Purchasing Cooperative by calling the BWCC at 301-725-4000 or 410-792-9714, e-mailing us at or by visiting our web site at

This entry was posted on Friday, August 5th, 2011 at 3:24 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.