GAO: few gas consumers opt for supplier choice

Customer Choice Particiation Chart [107,397 bytes] U.S. consumers have been slow to participate in "customer choice" programs that allow them to choose their natural gas suppliers. The General Accounting Office, a U.S. congressional watchdog agency, reports that 43 gas utilities in 16 states have customer choice programs for residential and small commercial gas customers. Utilities in 11 other states and the District of Columbia are beginning or considering similar programs. GAO surveyed utilities with residential customer choice programs as of July 31, 1998, and found 553,000 residential customers were participating-only about 4% of those eligible. Wide variations "W...

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