Texas restaurants save millions of dollars with aggregated purchasing program

ALLEN, Texas, Sept. 10, 2002 — Texas Commercial Energy announced the signing of its first joint procurement agreement under its Power in NumbersSM program.

The agreement with the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) gives TRA’S 5000 members the ability to aggregate their electric purchasing contracts and in turn, achieve low cost electricity rates.

With the first wave of TRA members signing on, Texas Commercial Energy has already been awarded contracts to supply electric power to hundreds of individual restaurants, including a number of well-known national chains. The first aggregated contracts between TCE and the TRA are projected to provide approximately $2 million in annual savings over pre-deregulation electric rates.

“By aggregating their purchasing, our members have a powerful weapon to reduce the cost of the electricity they buy,” said Sandy Mitschke, vice president of member services with Texas Restaurant Association.

TRA president Ralph Sheffield noted, “Not only was I attracted to the energy savings offered by switching my Las Casas Restaurante in Temple, Texas, to Texas Commercial Energy. We also found the company’s ‘keep it simple’ approach to business refreshing. They made it easy to understand what otherwise could have been very confusing because energy deregulation is so new.”

Sheffield continued, “Texas Commercial Energy’s contract is easy to read and understand, and TCE promises to make the switch within 30 days and bill us within 60 days. Those seemingly simple details are very important because some providers take months to bill their clients. When that first bill arrives it can cause major cash flow issues. Texas Commercial Energy makes it easy to generate the switch that can start saving us money.”

Scott Hart, president of Texas Commercial Energy, said, “TRA leadership should be congratulated for delivering this beneficial, easy-to-use purchasing tool to TRA membership. The list of TRA members signing on has expanded rapidly as more savvy restaurant decision-makers learn about the benefits of Power in NumbersSM.”

“From the beginning of our negotiations, TRA leadership took a determined approach to get its members the best deal possible on electricity. The prompt agreement to aggregate their energy purchases by this first group of TRA members attests to their association’s success,” Hart said.

Hart added, “With the confidence that Texas Commercial Energy can promptly and seamlessly begin delivering low cost energy, these first-to-act TRA members are already being rewarded with the best electricity contracts and the lowest prices. While they benefit their own businesses, they are also helping their industry save millions of dollars in the first year of Texas energy deregulation.”

In addition to immediately lowering their electricity rates, TRA members also have the continuing opportunity to reduce their power costs as more members join the Power in NumbersSM aggregation program. The larger the roster of participating TRA members, the more buying clout and greater savings they all will enjoy.

“Texas Commercial Energy demonstrates its business partner relationship with TRA by offering this great opportunity for our members to leverage their costs downward. Texas Commercial Energy is truly interested in helping Texas restaurateurs reduce energy costs and retain more bottom-line dollars,” added Mitschke, TRA vice president.

“Texas Commercial Energy is excited that our compelling Power in NumbersSM program has attracted so many TRA members so soon, including some of the best known national companies in the restaurant industry,” Hart said. “We’re looking forward to continuing to build strong relationships with more TRA members as Power in NumbersSM participants reap the benefits of TCE’s low rates for commercial power, simple switching, timely and accurate billing, and highly responsive customer service.”

Senate Bill 7, the Electricity Deregulation Bill passed by the Texas Legislature in 1999, allows groups to form a corporation to act as their agent in negotiating the purchase of electricity. Texas Commercial Energy was formed in 2001 as a new Retail Electric Provider (REP) and launched in 2002 with a commitment to deliver low cost energy and high quality service to a growing list of commercial customers across Texas.

The opportunity to leverage reduced energy costs by aggregating power purchases is one of the major benefits promised to Texas businesses by energy deregulation. Texas Commercial Energy aggressively seeks to deliver on that promise by expanding its base of commercial customers as relationships are forged with aggregated purchasing groups, as well as individual businesses seeking low cost power and high-level service from a reliable energy company.

About Texas Commercial Energy

Texas Commercial Energy is a provider of low cost energy in Texas with close to 1,000 industrial and commercial, multi-site contracts signed through August 2002. Launched in January 2002 as a Retail Energy Provider (REP), Texas Commercial Energy focuses on delivering low cost, reliable commercial power, making it simple for customers to switch, and guaranteeing timely and accurate billing.

Texas Commercial Energy also operates Hino Energy, an affiliate of TCE that primarily serves the commercial energy market in Texas’ Rio Grand Valley. To learn more about Texas Commercial Energy, visit its Web site at www.mytce.com.

Source: Texas Commercial Energy

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