In 1992, eight Colorado greenhouse owners formed the Greenhouse Services Foundation, Inc. (GSF). The objective then is the same as it is today; secure better energy prices as a large group instead of individually and one point of management contact.
A volunteer board of directors, elected by the membership, determines and oversees the direction of the GSF. Day-to-day management is handled through consulting agreements with energy professionals and accountants. What began as a small group of greenhouse owners in Colorado has grown to a much larger group including growers in California. All benefit from a broad array of services to control energy costs. Today, the GSF provides its members with:
Strategic Supply Sourcing - We actively monitor the natural gas market on a daily basis and make procurement decisions based on reducing costs; not to make extra margin. GSF has established partnerships with key regional suppliers along with negotiated favorable pricing terms that are all passed on to members.
Operational Support - GSF manages the natural gas transportation contracts, daily scheduling, imbalance trading and if necessary, individual supply contracts.
Market Analysis - Via email program managers provide monthly assessments to members regarding the current and future natural gas market status. Members can also call the GSF office with specific questions related to costs and options for just their operations.
Budgeting Tools - Available from the program manager, members can get monthly usage history and coupled with a projected pricing forecast, budget future heating expenses.
Risk Management - Given the volatility of natural gas prices and weather demand swings, the supply portfolio is a mix of monthly, daily and term purchases. For the Nov-Mar period, a significant amount of supply is "locked in" at a fixed price. Large users may want a different fixed price level, term or volume and the program allows for the administrators to address those needs.