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An Intersection of Privatization and Public Utility Regulation: The Ohio State University's Energy Concession Agreement

Journal Title Utilities Policy
Published Date June 13, 2019
Research Type
Authors Noah Dormady


U.S. colleges and universities have for some time joined the privatization movement where university functions and assets are turned over to private contractors. Here we present a case of a 50-year comprehensive energy concession agreement by The Ohio State University that generated an up-front payment exceeding a billion dollars. The agreement, with many principles and design practices borrowed directly from economic regulation of public utilities and against the backdrop of the literature on privatization and contract theory, provides an insightful case that informs these literature, as well as future privatization efforts by universities and other large-scale public organizations.

Dormady, N., Jones, D., Roe, B., & Rub, G. (2019). An Intersection of Privatization & Public Utility Regulation: The Ohio State University’s Energy Concession Agreement & Private-Public Utility Theory. Utilities Policy, 59: 100929.