Restructuring Today
October 4, 2005

GOODMAN: Energy prices are window for proving competition’s worth

Marketers -- and competition in general -- have a window of opportunity to prove their value to consumers, says NEMA President Craig Goodman.
              He's taking his cue from the New York PSC's decision to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to upgrade its website to provide consumers with as close to real-time energy prices as possible.
              It's New York's market-oriented response to sharply rising energy prices -- especially for the winter heating season.
              Goodman is urging his members to help by providing as much information about energy prices as possible to the PSC whose website already lists competitive offers.
              It's a "great opportunity," Goodman told RT, "to demonstrate the competitiveness of small business entrepreneurs versus the lumbering old monopolies of a bygone era.
              "To this day nobody knows the true price of commodities sold by monopolies."
              Alarm over rising energy costs creates the opportunity for marketers to prove that their efficiency, hard work and innovative products bring true savings and benefits to consumers, Goodman added.
              "We have to get ahead of this curve," Goodman stressed.
              It's "too easy," he noted, to superimpose price controls, then "live with the consequences for years to come."
              He's talking about understating commodity costs in utilities' prices-to-beat that consumers end up paying for in rate adjustments over the course of years.
              The market and country can't afford it, Goodman said.
              "We have to work our way through this shortage now and not in the future."
              Goodman was working on an alert to his members yesterday and was planning a conference call he wants to open to members and non-members alike today.


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