Oregon University System

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Account Codes for Utilities and Sustainability-Related Activities

Background and Justification for Request

Portland State University's (PSU) and the Oregon University System's (OUS) operating philosophies and goals increasingly pursue initiatives of sustainability, carbon neutrality, and the aspirations of Climate Action Planning. Simultaneously, higher education is increasingly faced with the difficult operating realities of volatile utility markets and the complexities of contracting for bulk energy, energy futures, and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

As a result of the heightened attention on sustainable practices and utility usage, our institutions of higher education are progressively engaged in data collection and analysis, pro forma development, project planning, and cost benefit analysis regarding modifications to physical plant and department-level operations. Many of these activities include efforts to requisition funds available through federal, state, local government, and private grant opportunities. Additionally in many cases, we must conform with reporting requirements for various programs, including Clean River Credit processes, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), State Energy Efficient Design (SEED), the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), and Business Energy Tax Credits (BETC).

Our movements toward sustainability and consumption reduction have brought new relationships with agencies and organizations, which may include new audit processes. Additionally, thorough long-range planning requires data collection and analysis that cannot be done adequately using the financial data currently available in Banner. Indeed, the progress and development of these practices has outpaced the detail provided in the existing chart of accounts. As the Financial Information System of Banner is the official and auditable point of record for OUS institutions, and to forego the investment cost of shadow systems and duplication of labor necessary to compile data regarding utilities and sustainability-related activities, we request your consideration on the following possible amendments to the chart of accounts.

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Last Updated: 10/15/2010