Ohio State May Lease Management of Utilities

November 3, 2014 By Karen Henry

OSU-pumpkin-energy-manageOhio State University is considering leasing the management of its utilities and lighting systems to an outside company, the Columbus Dispatch reports. In such an arrangement, a company would sign a long-term lease with the university and then recoup its costs by finding ways to make the university more energy efficient. The company would then split any savings with the university.

This type of contract would be one of the first for an institution the size of OSU. The university’s objective is to provide it with a new income source. It does not know how such a plan might impact its employees who currently maintain utility systems.

OSU spends about $100 million per year on energy, which includes payments on debt for energy infrastructure projects. The university has also identified more than $250 million in improvements that could be done to help reduce energy use but are not being done because of a lack of funding.

OSU will be evaluating companies that could take on such a lease during the first half of 2015. The university said the duration of the lease and the estimated annual savings for the university would depend on what prospective companies propose. Any plan would need to be approved by the university’s board of trustees.

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