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MXenergy to offer services

Another residential supplier has announced it is entering PPL Electric Utilities’ territory, increasing to five the number of retail competitors who have committed to offering residential service when PPL’s rate caps expire on Jan. 1.

MXenergy of Stamford, Conn., says it will offer a variety of fixed-rate and variable-rate plans, though company Chief Executive Officer and President Jeffrey Mayer said pricing plans are still being created and noted that customers won’t be able to switch completely by Jan. 1.

“We are very cautious and careful about entering new markets. … We’re very careful about modeling the market, lining up the supplier we need, understand market rules,” he said on Thursday. The company, which retails gas and electricity in about 40 utility territories in 14 states and into Canada, has existed for 10 years, and Mayer believes that’s one of the benefits the company offers. “Probably the most important thing (we offer) is financial stability, financial strength. We’re offering products similar to other suppliers, but you need to have a strong balance sheet to lock in long term prices,” he said. “Our goal is to provide customers with price protection the way banks offer fixed mortgages.”

MXenergy focuses on residential customers, Mayer said. “What we’ve done is we’ve taken the products available to commercial industrial customers for 20 years and we’ve retooled them for the homeowner,” he said. “We think are the lowest or close to the lowest (price) in the market, but for competitive reasons, we don’t want to put it out until we start marketing.”

The company won’t be venturing into UGI Utilities’ territory, he said.

PPL has facilitated competition by agreeing to contract for collecting receivable accounts, among other things, while UGI and other utilities haven’t done that. Mayer said his company could offer service to customers in those territories, but the expense to customers would increase.

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