Thursday, February 08, 2001

CG&E rival offers electricity

Savings via New Power Co. would be about .07 of a cent

By Mike Boyer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Southwestern Ohio customers of Cincinnati Electric & Gas Co. can now sign up with an alternative electric supplier — but the potential savings will be small.

        New Power Co., a Pur chase, N.Y.-based retail gas and electric supplier, is the first company to offer service in CG&E's service area under Ohio's month-old electric choice law. The law allows consumers to shop for alternative power providers.

        New Power said Wednesday it was offering power to customers in CG&E's service area for two years at a fixed price of 5.2163 cents per kilowatt hour. That's about .07 of a cent less than CG&E's price of 5.29 cents per kilowatt hour.

        Under Ohio's electric choice law, CG&E's rates, which are unbundled into separate generation, transmission and distribution charges for the first time, are frozen for the next five years.

        As an incentive, New Pow er, which offers residential service in nine states, said it would offer December service free for the next two years for customers who sign up by April 30.

        An average customer, using 750 kilowatts hours per month, will pay an additional monthly service charge to CG&E of $16.76.

        By including the two free months, New Power said the savings over CG&E's price is about 7 percent.

        “Our expertise in commodity management and our economies of scale in technology and processing mean we can help consumers save,” said H. Eugene Lockhart, New Power's president.

        New Power, whose parent, New Power Holdings Inc., is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, was formed by Enron, the world's largest energy trader, in partnership with America Online Inc. and In ternational Business Machine.

        The company is sending out mail solicitations to CG&E customers. Customers can also sign up through New Power's Web site:

        The company said recently about 30 percent of its customers, which now total more than 600,000, sign up through its Web site.


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