BURLINGTON, Mass., March 29, 2001 — California’s troubles notwithstanding, the year 2000 saw a big increase in the number of customers able to choose a competitive electric supplier.

As of early 2001, the number of customers eligible for choice exceeded 37 million or roughly 40 percent of all accounts nationwide. By January 2002, the number of eligible customers will be 53 million — over half the US total.

But as an indication of competition’s erratic start, only about 1 percent of these customers have chosen a new electric supplier to date.

These findings and others were recently published in XENERGY’s three-volume report on restructured electric markets — part of the company’s annual Retail Energy Markets service.

“There’s no question that California has sent shock waves through the industry and in some cases put a stop to restructuring,” said William, Huss, Ph.D. “But many states continue to reform their electric markets, viewing California as a failed experiment on the path toward customer choice and competition. Despite California’s difficulties, the opportunities are growing in retail markets as more and more states are opening. That’s why we’ve seen continued investment in these retail businesses. In fact, since this past summer, over $1.5 billion has been invested in retail companies — the highest level to date.”

Since 1996, XENERGY has completed more than $8 million of customer, competitor and regulatory research, creating the industry’s most comprehensive source of information on retail energy markets for natural gas and electricity. Results are confidential and limited to the study’s sponsors, who have included more than 80 major utilities, marketers and other companies.

For additional results from the study, the Executive Summary of the REM2000 report is available online at www.xenergy.com.

XENERGY is an energy consulting, information technology and energy services firm headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, with offices across the United States and in Canada. The company offers consulting services on a wide range of energy issues, and works with utilities, energy service companies, industrial and commercial customers, institutions and government agencies. Founded in 1975, XENERGY is a wholly-owned subsidiary of KEMA Consulting.