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Clark county offers consumer choice for electricity

Starting in March some 5000 customers of Clark County in southern Washington state will be able to choose their electricity in a pilot programme. One of four choices to be offered is a "green" one involving power from wind or geothermal, says Clark Public Utilities' Mick Shutt. The other choices include power from Bonneville Power Administration or from Clark, most of which would be generated by its gas-fired plant near Lake Vancouver. Only as many as one-fifth of those offered the pilot are expected to change their supplier. Approval of the "Powerful Choices" scheme, fully unveiled in late October, is expected in December. Near the end of a one year test, customers will be surveyed to determine their reaction. Then the choice might be expanded to the utility's other 130,000 customers, many of whom are in Vancouver near the Oregon border and just north of Portland.

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