Commodity energy purchasing

Fluctuating energy prices can significantly affect your property’s energy bill and operating budget. By taking a proactive approach to energy commodity purchasing, you can help take control of your community’s energy costs. 

At FirstService Energy, we partner with our communities to provide the best solutions that fit the unique needs of each building. Our procurement specialists determine the optimal pricing solution by considering energy usage, risk tolerance, and long-term and short-term goals, delivering uniquely tailored, cost-effective strategies for buying energy

We formally request supplier proposals on your behalf and assist in the execution of contracts right after bidding to reduce the time spent between bidding and executing, which may lead to rate changes in the market. Regulatory factors, economic forecasting, regional supply and demand, and seasonality are some examples of price influences and trends that our team stays on top of to help provide leading rates and cost savings to your community. 

Our aggregation program leverages the combined energy use of hundreds of properties managed by FirstService Residential to negotiate below-market rates for natural gas and electricity. Our industry experts sit down with your team and determine if your property is a good fit within our aggregation program or if we can locate greater value with your current utility provider. The purpose is to help communities like yours reduce costs. 

Product options: 

Should your community be eligible for our aggregation program, you will have the flexibility to choose from multiple product options. Two of the options, sitting on opposite sides of the spectrum, are an index plus basis or a fixed contract

  1. Index + Basis Contract

    The index plus basis contract is a mixed rate structure. A fixed basis locks in certain components of your energy/gas supply, which allows you to take advantage of certain market conditions. The index portion allows properties to be on the wholesale market rate. This option offers flexibility with some budget certainty, as you can lock in all or a portion of your electric or gas supply rate. 

    Factors to consider: 

    • Higher financial risk 
    • Higher flexibility 
    • Historically lower cost 
    • Higher volatility 
  2. Fixed product contract

    With a fixed product contract, a property pays the same cost per kWh, Therm, or cubic meters for the term of the contract. This option is not flexible but does provide budget certainty as the cost will not fluctuate with market prices. The premium for the fixed price and annual consumption is paid one time. 

    Factors to consider:

    • Lower financial risk
    • Less flexibility
    • Higher cost
    • Lower volatility

Program steps

Our five-step process is designed to make the energy commodity process simple for every property: 

  1. FirstService Energy will review your past energy invoices to identify current energy purchasing options.
  2. Obtain a letter of authorization.
  3. Send the energy profile to suppliers.
  4. Review all responses and recommend the best option based on key factors like pricing, contract terms, product structures, and credit conditions.
  5. Obtain approval from the board and execute a supply agreement.
  6. Monitor performance and provide feedback before contract renewal.

In regulated states and provinces, energy can only be supplied by the Local Distribution Companies (LDCs). Deregulated states allow consumers to purchase electricity or natural gas from competing suppliers. We monitor and navigate deregulated energy markets to find the best priced options, so you don’t have to. The local utility will always deliver the commodity to you. All customers in a service territory continue to pay the local utility a monthly fee (tariff) for the delivery, servicing, and billing functions. 

Below are the markets where we provide procurement services:   





New Jersey 

New York City 




Washington D.C. 

Coming soon: 


British Columbia 


Is electricity a commodity? The electricity grid in the United States used to be vertically integrated, meaning there was a single owner of generation, transmission, and consumption of energy, which led to high prices. Now, the electric grid is overseen by non-profit organizations: Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission Operators. ISOs and RTOs direct and manage the flow of energy in specific regions, balancing generation and consumption of the electricity commodity.   

Managing the reliability of the grid is one of the main responsibilities of ISOs and RTOs so that supply meets demand. While ISOs and RTOs do not own or generate the commodity, they are responsible for managing the reliability and forecasting resources needed. They operate the grid, oversee the electricity markets, and plan for long-term market needs. 

 We follow the current trends of ISOs, RTOs, and natural gas trading hubs, as well as connect directly with suppliers, tracking real-time prices, production, storage levels, historical data, and more to put together the recommendations that best fit the unique needs of your community. It’s important to stay up to date with your region’s operator for announcements such as hot weather alerts and peak load times. During these periods of high demand, customers can help reduce current and future energy costs by curbing their energy consumption.  

States and provinces managed by ISOs or RTOs: 

  • Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) - ISO 
  • California Independent System Operator (CAISO) - ISO
  • Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) - ISO 
  • Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO) – RTO
    • Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin, and Manitoba, Canada
  • ISO New England (ISO-NE) - RTO
    • Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
  • New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) - ISO
  • Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) - ISO
  • PJM Interconnection (PJM) - RTO
    • Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia
  • Southwest Power Pool (SPP) - RTO
    • Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Demand response 

Demand repose programs enable customers to contribute to energy load reduction during times of peak demand. Incentives and savings are often applied in return for balancing the demand on the grid. Our experts alert boards and managers when these opportunities arise. 

Energy budgets 

Each fiscal year of a property, our budget specialist creates customized energy budgets for the property’s accounts. Our budget specialist researches utility tariffs across different markets for commodities including electricity, natural gas, oil, and steam to create customized energy budget templates. Energy budgets provide our customers with an accurate estimate of their annual energy costs and consumption, enabling them to plan their expenses accordingly. 

Community distributed generation 

Community Distributed Generation programs (CDG) allow utility customers to receive energy credits from local power sources and save instantly. Renewable energy sources are installed off-site, customers purchase energy from the source, and a credit is applied to the customer’s bill to cover supply or delivery charges. A portion of the customer participation can go towards the construction of new CDG programs. 

Why should I join a community energy or solar project?

  • Community programs allow residents to support solar and other renewable energy sources without installing them on their property and or being an owner 
  • Savings estimates on electric bills range from 6%-10% depending on the rate type 
  • Support clean, locally generated power 
What is Community Distributed Generation? 

Contact us at [email protected] to find out if your state is eligible for CDG. 

Contact us today to begin your decarbonization journey. 

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