For Immediate Release - April 20, 2005

State Teams With A.I.M. & Utilities To Promote Competitive Electric Contracts

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and the Department of Telecommunications and Energy are again this year participating in a series of seminars to educate businesses about the competitive electricity market and options for competitive contracts.

Six seminars scheduled throughout the Commonwealth will afford commercial and industrial customers the opportunity to speak directly with electricity suppliers and obtain cost estimates for competitive contracts based on their own individual load data provided by their utility companies. Each seminar will also include a panel for potential customers to hear directly from businesses with experience in the competitive market.

The state agencies' partners in this effort are the largest business association in the state, Associated Industries of Massachusetts ("A.I.M."), and the three largest utility companies, Massachusetts Electric, NSTAR and Western Massachusetts Electric.

"Customer education is a key component to the continued success of electric restructuring in Massachusetts. We remain committed to providing customers access to the information they need to make the best decisions for their businesses. We're pleased to again work closely with A.I.M. and the utilities on this important educational initiative," said Beth Lindstrom, Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

From the employer side, Richard Lord, President and CEO of A.I.M., said, "A.I.M. is pleased to partner with key government agencies and the state's largest utilities on this important initiative. Massachusetts is benefiting from electric restructuring and it is essential that we combine our resources and efforts to educate customers to take full advantage of those benefits."

Associated Industries of Massachusetts is a statewide association of more than 7,600 employers. NSTAR serves more than 1 million customers, including 156,000 commercial industrial customers. Massachusetts Electric has more than 1.2 million customers in the state, with 145,000 commercial industrial customers. In the western part of the state, Western Massachusetts Electric Company serves 200,000 customers and approximately 20,000 are commercial industrial.

Registration for any of the six seminars listed below can be done securely online at Interested businesses will need to provide their existing utility account number to allow for use of their individual load data when meeting with suppliers. All listed seminars begin with on-site registration and breakfast at 8am. Lunch will be provided to attendees during the supplier forum in the early afternoon.

Seminar Dates & Locations

April 28, DCU Center in Worcester

May 10, Sheraton Ferncroft in Danvers

May 18, Doubletree in Waltham

May 24, Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield

June 2, Radisson in Plymouth

June 9, Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis