New Publication Says CA Woes Not Slowing Retail Competition

California's well documented difficulties related to electric restructuring and a sluggish response from consumers to retail electric competition in key parts of the country have not deterred most U.S. electric utilities from continuing to pursue competitive retail plans. The situation has not kept several states from moving forward with restructuring efforts, according to an industry analysis by Chartwell in its new publication, Competition in the Energy Industry, 2001, which was unveiled last week.

States such as Texas and Virginia have the power of hindsight and can learn from the California debacle, billing shortfalls in Georgia's natural gas market, and disappointing participation rates in some northeastern states," said Dennis Smith, editorial director for Chartwell Inc., an information services provider for the retail energy industry. "We're seeing most utility companies, even those operating in the go-slow states, continuing to develop competitive strategies and prepare to operate in a customer-choice environment."

This is not to say that power shortages in the West and other difficulties associated with both wholesale and retail energy markets haven't had an adverse impact on some customer choice initiatives, according to Smith. "We're also seeing several states that were previously moving forward now delaying competition or putting it off indefinitely."

The publication offers 30 in-depth case studies and articles on utilities' competitive strategies. The 143-page compilation, the fifth in a series, also offers an analysis of the evolution of retail markets and the latest information on restructuring efforts in all 50 states and the nation's capital.

For additional information on the new publication, visit www.chartwellinc.com/books.htm.

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