Aquila, Engage to Sell Retail Energy through Web
Two top-10 national energy marketers, Aquila Energy and Engage
Energy, started doing business July 29 in California on Energy
Marketplace, the retail natural gas and electricity Internet
shopping center operated by Southern California Gas Co. Declining
to provide dollar or transaction volume statistics on the nearly
two-year-old site, the nation's first retail energy Internet
shopping site, a SoCalGas spokesperson would only say that there
are other major announcements regarding Energy Marketplace that are
pending and should be made in the near future.
SoCalGas said its web site now hosts 16 marketers serving both
gas and power to California customers. They pay fees to the
Internet service to participate as a supplier receiving pricing
requests from customers and for advertising their company profile
and services. The site, which began in November 1997 as a gas-only
Internet marketing conduit, is still looking to expand to other
states and negotiations in that regard are ongoing, according to
the SoCal spokesperson in Los Angeles. The addition of two large
national marketers "broadens the energy service offerings available
to our customers over the Internet," said SoCalGas's Lee Stewart,
president of energy transportation services.
"We look forward to exploring additional avenues to markets in
California and other geographic areas as Energy Marketplace
expands," said Richard McElroy, marketing vice president for
Engage, which is a joint venture between $12 billion (US) Coastal
Corp., and $11 billion (Canadian) Westcoast Energy, based in
British Columbia. Aquila, which is part of UtiliCorp United, is
currently ranked as the nation's fourth largest gas and second
largest electricity wholesaler.
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