Maryland consortium leverages electric choice to generate savings opportunity with Strategic Energy

ANNAPOLIS, Md., Feb. 17, 2004 — With the second phase of Maryland electricity competition coming quickly, businesses have an imminent opportunity to reduce their electricity costs.

In anticipation, the Mid-Atlantic Aggregation Group Independent Consortium L.L.C. (MAAGIC) Electricity Program will harness the volume purchasing power of its membership to help leading Maryland business organizations purchase electricity at a reduced cost.

MAAGIC, which was created in 2000 by nine leading business associations from across the state, represents 6,200 commercial customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

“Purchasing electricity is quite different than buying any other product or service, which is why we took the initiative to create the MAAGIC program,” said Tom Saquella, who serves as President of MAAGIC as well as the Maryland Retailers Association (MRA). “We intend to help all of our members benefit from competition by grouping many customers into a large purchasing pool.”

MAAGIC, which is the first aggregation group licensed in Maryland and the most active to date, has signed an exclusive agreement with Strategic Energy to administer the program and purchase power on members’ behalf. Strategic Energy is one of the largest retail electricity suppliers in the United States, with more than 46,000 customer accounts in nine states nationwide. Strategic Energy was selected from among nine suppliers who responded to MAAGIC’s solicitation in August, 2003.

While electricity choice has been active in Maryland since 2000, current “Standard Offer” rates – those that Maryland’s regulated electric utilities can charge and that unregulated, competitive suppliers try to beat – are below market in many areas of the state. This spring, new market-based rates will go into effect, which is expected to trigger an active market among competitive suppliers capable of offering lower prices and superior services than local electric utilities.

According to Saquella, having an endorsed electricity supplier will help members save valuable time from trying to figure out which competitive supplier can offer the best deal. “We’ve done all of the up-front work,” he said, “to ensure that our members team up with a trustworthy electricity supplier with a proven track record in competitive markets.”

“By aggregating their load and harnessing their collective buying power, businesses have a tremendous opportunity to save money, and no one understands these opportunities better than Strategic Energy,” said Trevor F. Lauer, Vice President of Strategic Energy. “Since we began serving retail customers in 1997, we’ve applied our expertise to generate millions in savings for similar aggregation groups in competitive markets across the country. We look forward to helping the MAAGIC consortium achieve similar results.”

Along with the MRA, MAAGIC consortium members also include the Building Owners and Managers Association of Metropolitan Baltimore, the Chesapeake Automotive Business Association, the Health Facilities Association of Maryland, the Maryland Hotel & Lodging Association, the Printing and Graphic Communications Association, the Printing and Imaging Industries of Maryland, the Restaurant Association of Maryland and the Service Station & Automotive Repair Association.

MAAGIC and Strategic Energy will be conducting six member workshops across the state over the next two weeks.

About Strategic Energy

Strategic Energy, headquartered in Pittsburgh since 1986, is an energy management company providing electric load aggregation and power supply coordination services. For a management fee, Strategic Energy buys wholesale power under long-term contracts for direct delivery to retail customers under long-term contracts. The company operates in nine states with retail choice, including California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. Majority-owned by Great Plains Energy (NYSE:GXP), Strategic Energy’s website is www.sel.com.


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