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NY Regulators Schedule Energy Fair to Educate Consumers on Choice

In response to requests from consumers, the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) staff said Friday that it has scheduled an energy fair to provide customers of National Grid USA and National Fuel Gas Co. the opportunity to meet representatives of energy service companies (ESCO) and obtain information about electric and natural gas supply choices being offered in their service territory.

Consumers have been seeking a forum in which they would be able ask ESCO representatives questions on a "one-on-one basis." Sponsored by PSC staff in partnership with National Grid and National Fuel, the fair is designed to assist customers in making a decision about their energy supplier. Representatives from the ESCOs, National Grid, and National Fuel will be available. Commission staff will also be available to provide details about customer choice in energy providers, green power and energy efficiency.

The fair will be held at a Holiday Inn located at 1881 Niagara Falls Blvd. in Amherst, NY, 1-7 p.m. on Jan. 10. A PSC spokeswoman said the Amherst fair was the only one planned at this time.

In New York, customers have the ability to choose their electricity and natural gas provider. Statewide, 42% of all electricity used is supplied by ESCOs. As of September 2006, about 1.2 million customers statewide, now buy their energy supply from alternative suppliers, up over 50% from the previous year, the PSC said. For the most recent monthly electric and gas reporting period, a record 36,000 customers, mostly residential, chose ESCO and green power suppliers for their energy supply.

Regardless of which supplier customers choose, National Grid and National Fuel will continue to deliver the energy to the customers' premises over its local delivery system.

People unable to attend the consumer energy fair may obtain information about the choices available for energy supplies in New York, including a Power to Choose supply guide reflecting prices and supply and service offerings from utilities and ESCOs, by accessing the Commission's www.PowerToChooseNY.com website or by calling the commission's toll-free consumer information line at 1-888-ASK-PSC1.

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