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Sacremento to Allow Customer Choice

Fortnightly Magazine - July 1 1997

The board of directors of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District has approved the introduction of competition in its service territory. SMUD is opening up competition for 100 megawatts of power (em about 5 percent of its total load (em in its new "Direct Access Phase-In Program."

Starting in June, customers may contract with a new energy supplier. Customers could receive power from the new provider in July.

According to Robert Pernell, board president, the action marks the first time a utility has established a permanent policy allowing outside marketers and energy suppliers to sell electricity directly to customers. "This action puts us squarely into the world of competition; the days of monopoly are over," Pernell said. "We could have waited until January, but we want our customers to have the first opportunity to participate in the new energy marketplace."

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