The Georgia Public Service Commission concluded Atlanta GasLight Co.’s historic rate case, opening its statewide gasdistribution system to marketers. The PSC approved a customereducation program for one year and procedures for Atlanta Gas Lightto follow when sharing information with gas marketers about thecompany’s nearly 1.5 million customers. The PSC also orderedAtlanta Gas Light to cut rates by $6 million. The reduction is inaddition to a $7 million rate cut ordered in June.

Atlanta Gas Light President COO Paula Rosput said she is pleasedto have a final decision on the company’s plan for deregulation.”Competition is officially launched in Georgia,” said Rosput. “Withthe approval of 19 gas suppliers, consumers now have a wide arrayof choices. Our customer education program is intended to makeGeorgia consumers aware that they have a choice of a gas supplier.”Rosput said the statewide customer education campaign will begin inthe next few weeks.

As the final PSC order fell into place, the home town entry inthe Georgia marketing sweepstakes, AGL’s own Georgia Natural GasServices, launched a statewide advertising campaign featuring “TheGas Guy (TM)” spokescharacter.Described as a “whimsical blueflame” the Gas Guy will star in humorous print ads and televisionand radio commercials introducing the marketer. Georgia Natural GasServices also has pledged to donate money to Special OlympicsGeorgia based on the number of households that sign up with CNGSfor gas service through the Law Enforcement Officer Torch Run,which takes place in May, 1999.

Other gas marketers approved by the PSC earlier this weekinclude Columbia Energy, Duke Energy, Energy America, e prime inc.,FPL Energy Services, Gas Key, Infinite Energy, NorAm EnergyManagement Inc., PanCanadian Energy Services Inc., PeachtreeNatural Gas, Phelts Natural Gas Associates, SCANA Energy, ShellEnergy Services Co., United Gas Management Inc., UtiliCorp EnergySolutions, Valdosta Natural Gas Services, Volunteer Energy ServicesInc., and Williams Energy Services.

Beginning Nov. 1 customers can choose a gas marketer or continueto receive both sales and delivery service from Atlanta Gas Light.After one-third of all the customers in any of the nine regionalmarkets in Georgia have signed up with a gas marketer, the PSC willdeclare that market competitive. At that point, customers will have100 days to select a gas marketer, followed by a random assignmentby the PSC of any customers who have not yet selected a gasmarketer. Atlanta Gas Light will no longer sell gas to customersafter random assignment. The rates and operation of Atlanta GasLight’s delivery service will continue to be regulated by the PSC.

©Copyright 1998 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. Thepreceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, inwhole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent ofIntelligence Press,Inc.