The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) set in motion a new round of restructuring for the U.S. electric power industry when it issued its latest Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR).
E-Marketing: Is Energy Missing the Net?
consumers. It sells brand-name products for services people need in their homes and businesses, including energy, communications, Internet access and entertainment. It also offers a choice of suppliers within the categories.
"We offer a great opportunity for suppliers to build their brand, acquire customers and reduce their ongoing marketing, billing and customer service costs," says Bob Potter, vice president for business development. Consumers get convenience, lower costs and special promotions coupled with online consolidated bill presentment and payment.
By the end of last year, Essential.com, which started operations last June, had more than 20,000 customers and was growing at better than 100 percent each month. While the company offers telecommunications service and Internet access in 47 states, expansion into the electric business beyond its home state of Massachusetts has been slower because of regulatory issues and the lack of electricity suppliers interested in the retail market.
Potter says Essential.com can help unregulated utility affiliates sell commodity service in the retail market. "We can help the unregulated affiliate sell more product and enhance the economics of offering service to the residential and small business markets," he says. "We bring suppliers to market faster." - P.L.W..