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Who's Fighting to Sell You Electricity

For small businesses, the headaches from power deregulation may be bigger than the savings. The best bet is to seek strength in numbers by joining some kind of buying club.

YOUR GOOD OLD UTILITY: Nobody's forcing you to switch. You can keep buying electricity from your regular power company and natural gas from your gas company. Their prices will often be the highest.

EXAMPLES: Pacific Gas & Electric; Consolidated Edison

AGGREGATORS/BROKERS: You'll hear lots of pitches from these folks, who bring hundreds of small buyers into one organization for leverage with suppliers. Some handle billing; others simply make a contract and step aside.

EXAMPLES: National Utility Service; CPM Energy

POWER MARKETERS: Today, these players mainly buy electricity or natural gas from one utility and sell it to another. But they're beginning to get into the retail business, sometimes in cooperation with aggregators.

EXAMPLES: Enron; Duke/Louis Dreyfus

Updated June 15, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1997, Bloomberg L.P.
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