Success Story

Creative Energy Options Help Ski Resort Control Costs

mount sunapee ski

Mount Sunapee’s general manager was a knowledgeable energy buyer. In the summer of 2015, he had been tracking the energy markets, and knew the utility would soon announce a very competitive fixed rate for the upcoming winter. As part of his process, he talked to a number of suppliers and consultants to understand all options. He decided to work with Usource because of their deep industry experience in working with 20 ski resorts, and their strategic approach to developing an energy strategy. Analyzing Sunapee’s energy utilization, understanding their risk tolerance and resources available to actively time-manage snow-making, Usource was able to formulate a number of options.

Usource advisors developed two procurement strategies to present to Sunapee. Usource utilized its robust grouping of ski resort-experienced electric suppliers to generate significant competition for all-in fixed electric prices for multiple terms, and also solicited from the most sophisticated suppliers a comprehensive block and index price. To further reduce energy costs, Usource then looked at the potential value of implementing a winter demand response (DR) program for Sunapee and solicited proposals from demand response (DR) suppliers in the market.

Usource delivered several competitive fixed-price offers well below the anticipated utility price. The block and index hedging approach resulted in attractive pricing, but in this case, the cost to actively manage hourly snow-making to avoid price spikes offset the potential benefits. Sunapee chose a fixed contract for a set term with an ongoing opportunity to lock in future purchases when market conditions warrant. Usource then negotiated a DR agreement that balanced the resort’s revenue objective with its ability to curtail snow-making if called. In this agreement, Sunapee would not be penalized if not able to respond.

Usource had both the technical expertise and the ability to communicate effectively to help me understand the true risk/benefit trade-off of multiple electricity purchasing options. That allowed me to make a more informed decision on what product was going to be best for Mount Sunapee.

Vice President & General Manager


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