Amway Corp. and Columbia Energy are taking their retail energyalliance to Ohio this month, three months after testing energymarketing strategies in Georgia. Georgia residents who have chosenColumbia Energy through Amway distributors can save as much as 18%per year on the cost of natural gas, according to Columbia.

Amway Senior Marketer Mark Talbot said the Georgia program hasbeen a great success, but he declined to release the number ofcustomers Columbia and Amway are serving in the state. “Theindependent business owners down in Georgia have responded veryfavorably to the program. They are very excited about it. So fromthat aspect, we feel it’s been successful. Also when we look at thenumbers game, Columbia and Amway have been pleased with the callvolume and requests for service by distributors and theircustomers.”

The two states hold a total of 2.5 million residential consumerswho are eligible to buy gas from alternative suppliers. Amway hasabout 64,000 distributors in Georgia and Ohio and at least 192,000customers. Together, the companies plan to market Columbia Energy’snatural gas and electricity services eventually to homeowners andsmall businesses nationwide, expanding the program as deregulationpermits. Amway has 1.3 million distributors in the U.S. Theprivately-owned firm, which is based in Ada, MI, is one of theworld’s largest direct sales companies. More than three millionindividual entrepreneurs market Amway products.

Rocco Canonica

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