July 18, 2011

Retail Energy Supply Association Launches Consumer Education Effort with Release of Consumer Education Guide at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Summer Conference

LOS ANGELES, July 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an effort to improve consumer education about choosing a competitive energy supplier, the Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA) today released a consumer education guide at the summer conference of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). NARUC is the national association of state public utility commissions, whose responsibilities include oversight of competitive retail energy markets for the states that have restructured to facilitate competition and enable customer choice.

"While millions of consumers in restructured states are enjoying the benefits of customer choice and the various innovative products and services being offered by competitive electric and natural gas suppliers, millions more are completely unaware of these opportunities," said David Fein, President of RESA. "More importantly, consumers must have the necessary information to make informed decisions about choosing an electric or natural gas supplier. For instance, many consumers may be wary of sales agents who may knock on their door, call them on the phone, or make offers through the mail or on the internet, simply because they are unaware of their right to choose competitive electricity and natural gas products. RESA, as the leading national trade association for competitive retail energy suppliers, today is taking a proactive step to help ensure that consumers are armed with the information they need to become a better educated consumer as they shop for competitive electricity or natural gas products."

"As an Association, we are dedicated to working with all stakeholders to promote vibrant competitive retail energy markets for residential, commercial and industrial consumers," adds Jay Kooper, Past President of RESA and Chairman of RESA's consumer education committee. "As part of this charge, it is imperative for us as an industry to ensure consumers have a positive experience when shopping for competitive energy products and services and to have at their fingertips the information necessary to ensure this happens. This means not only adhering to a set of guiding principles on marketing practices, which RESA and its members do, but to proactively educate consumers so that they understand what competitive suppliers do, what it means for consumers to shop for their energy needs, and what questions they should be asking suppliers before they enter into a contract. In this sense, we envision our role as complementary to that of state public utility commissions and consumer advocates in that the one of the most powerful weapons we have to combat and minimize bad marketing practices is the fully educated consumer."

RESA's four-page guide provides general information on competitive suppliers, types of questions to ask before entering into a contract, pricing and product option information, and outlines elements of legitimate sales interactions. "Our goal is to provide consumers with information they need to understand that their utility will not be mad at them if they make a switch and they will not need any new pipes or wires, they just need to evaluate competitive options over utility options and make an affirmative and educated decision to choose a competitive supplier," says Fein. "Some individuals may shop based on price, while others may shop based type of billing options or product types, it's really about customer's choice, comfort, and satisfaction. We hope this brochure will help consumers obtain better comfort and confidence in shopping for energy choices available to them."

RESA is a 21 member organization which acknowledges the critical role substantive, practical, fair and workable consumer protection and marketing practices play in creating a robust and sustainable competitive market. To view a copy of RESA's consumer education guide visit www.resausa.org and click on the consumer corner button. (http://www.resausa.org/go.cfm?do=Page.View&pid=310)

About RESA

RESA's members include: Champion Energy Services, LLC; ConEdison Solutions; Constellation NewEnergy, Inc.; Direct Energy Services, LLC; Energy Plus Holdings, LLC; Energetix; Exelon Energy Company; GDF SUEZ Energy Resources NA, Inc.; Green Mountain Energy Company; Hess Corporation; Integrys Energy Services, Inc.; Just Energy; Liberty Power; MC Squared Energy Services; MXenergy; Mint Energy, LLC; NextEra Energy Services; Noble Americas Energy Solutions LLC; PPL EnergyPlus, LLC; Reliant Energy Northeast LLC and TriEagle Energy, L.P. The comments expressed in this release represent the position of RESA as an organization, but may not represent the views of any particular member of RESA. For more information, contact RESA Executive Director Tracy McCormick at (717) 566-5405 or go to www.RESAUSA.org.

SOURCE Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA)