Tuesday, February 20, 2001

Electric Choice effort gets results

By Mike Boyer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Special Report: The High Cost of keeping Warm
        State officials have proclaimed the 6-month-old education campaign on Ohio's Electric Choice program a success.

        The $33 million multiyear campaign has so far generated 9 million hits at its Web site, www.OhioElectricChoice.com.

        The company has distributed 2 million brochures, taken 26,000 phone calls to the campaign's hot line, 1-888-OEC-1314, and received 627 pages of news coverage across the state. The effort, which also includes radio and TV ads, is designed to educate consumers on how to shop for suppliers under the law that took effect Jan. 1.

Have questions about the high cost of keeping warm? Questions about ways to conserve energy and save money? Send them to us. We'll ask the experts and report the answers.
        In Cincinnati Gas & Electric's service area, only one alternative supplier is making offers to residential customers.

        Last week, New Power Co., a national marketer of residential gas and electric service, said it was launching service in Southwest Ohio by offering customers free electric service in December.

        Meanwhile, another competitive supplier, Green Mountain Energy Co. of Austin, Texas, will supply power to 450,000 customers in 90 northeast Ohio communities, under a preliminary deal announced this week.

        The Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council, which includes 100 communities around Cleveland, is the largest aggregation group — or buying pool - under the electric choice law. NOPEC said Green Mountain has promised rates 6 to 8 percent below those of FirstEnergy Corp., the area's

        incumbent supplier, over the next six years.

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