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Aggregator Offers 10-25% Savings in MA, RI

Aggregator Offers 10-25% Savings in MA, RI

Through its National Energy Choice program, NEChoice LLC, a Boston-based energy aggregator, said it will offer gas to commercial, industrial and municipal users in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The program offers savings of 10 to 25% off gas supply. National Energy Choice chose e prime to provide gas to its customers from a field of 50 competitors.

"National Energy Choice has already brought new electricity options to its customers," said Stephen J. Remen, managing director of National Energy Choice. "Now with our natural gas program, we are offering another money-saving opportunity to our customers."

The National Energy Choice program offers contract terms of either one or two years, and customers can pick from two contract types: fixed percentage savings or fixed price. In the fixed-percentage savings option, customers will be guaranteed a percentage off the utility rate for gas regardless of any fluctuations in market price. In the fixed-price option, customers lock in their rate for the term of the contract. Savings percentages for customers may fluctuate under this option. National Energy Choice earns a fee by sharing a percentage of the savings it obtains for customers.

National Energy Choice's announcement comes after Massachusetts voters demonstrated their desire for choice in their electric bills. Currently, commercial and industrial customers are able to choose their own gas supplier. Residential customers statewide are expected to be able to choose a supplier by mid-1999.

Christopher House, a Worcester-based nursing home and member of the Massachusetts Extended Care Federation, has already signed up for the National Energy Choice program. The nursing home, which selected the fixed-price option, is currently saving 25% - about $6,000 annually - off the natural gas supply portion of its bill.

The gas program also is offered to Massachusetts cities and towns through the Massachusetts Municipal Association's (MMA) MunEnergy program. MunEnergy, formed by the MMA and administered by National Energy Choice, offers energy savings to municipalities through a variety of measures. "MunEnergy has successfully saved Massachusetts municipalities money with its innovative electricity program," said Geoffrey Beckwith, executive director of the MMA. "We look forward to building on this success with this new initiative to save cities and towns money on their natural gas bills."

National Energy Choice was able to negotiate favorable gas rates because it is an energy aggregator that pools different gas users to create a large buying group. Together, these energy users are able to take advantage of the low prices that economies of scale create. The deadline for participation in the program is Feb. 19.

Joe Fisher, Houston

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