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Case Study

Power auctions produce almost $16 million in cost avoidance

With a massive real estate portfolio of over 42,000 sites spread across the United States, wireless services provider T-Mobile is a major energy consumer. In late 2009 the company challenged Jones Lang LaSalle, its provider of integrated facilities management, to drive down their utility bills wherever possible without generating capital expense. Our facility management team engaged experts from our Energy and Sustainability Services group to examine utility accounts at about 40,000 cell tower sites, 2,000 stores, 100 offices and support buildings, and 80 data centers.

After analyzing accounts across T-Mobile’s portfolio, our team determined that about two-thirds of them are in 28 states where utilities are deregulated. We recommended that T-Mobile conduct reverse auctions with regional utilities wherever possible to generate competition for their business and drive down rates. Overcoming the challenge of addressing approximately 28,000 utility accounts over a wide geographic spread, we managed 23 T-Mobile reverse power auctions in 2010. Contracts from these competitive events represented almost $16 million in cost avoidance—a decrease of almost 30 percent from the rate T-Mobile had previously paid.

Cross-portfolio energy savings and service
Even where we could not conduct auctions, our energy experts worked with facility managers and T-Mobile’s corporate real estate team to drive down site utility costs. Our team negotiated improved contracts with local utilities wherever possible, and switched out ownership of about 2,500 accounts for optimum rates. We also manage a third-party invoice processor to assure that utility bills are paid promptly, freeing T-Mobile staff from this chore and avoiding late payment penalties.

Applying our firm’s experience in managing 20,000 Americas sustainability projects annually, our energy team also investigated on-site opportunities to reduce energy consumption. We identified $750,000 in conservation opportunities across T-Mobile’s retail portfolio, and have saved over $200,000 in one office building a lone. As part of our services, we work with T-Mobile’s design team to make sure that new stores are as energy efficient as possible.

Finally, we act as T-Mobile’s ongoing advocate in important interactions with their utility suppliers. Our assistance includes working with engineering and operations personnel to restore power when necessary, and monitoring return service dates to minimize costs and maximize customer service. As T-Mobile’s trusted energy advisor, our team filters and evaluates the profusion of proposals and equipment continually presented to the company by utilities and other vendors.

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