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Web site marketing of green power starts

Yahoo!, an Internet "portal site" seen by 50-60 million people monthly, will soon feature banner advertisements by US energy marketer Green Mountain Energy that tout wind power and other renewables. Yahoo! users will be able to sign up for specific energy packages offered by Green Mountain.

Yahoo!, an Internet "portal site" seen by 50-60 million people monthly, will soon feature banner advertisements by US energy marketer Green Mountain Energy that tout wind power and other renewables. Yahoo! users will be able to sign up for specific energy packages offered by Green Mountain, such as its "Wind for the Future 2.0." The Yahoo! site features a popular search engine, chat rooms, advertisements and news.

Green Mountain advertisements will initially appear on the computer screens of users who live in California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where the electricity market opens this autumn. The company's entrance into the ultra-hip "dot-com" community is clearly a turning point for its sales strategy. The energy marketer is a spin-off from the Vermont utility Green Mountain Power and is now owned by a company named-GreenMountain.com, a change made within the last month.

The number of people linked to the internet is expected to keep growing rapidly. One-third of households were on-line in North American in 1998 with that figure expected to grow to 56% of households by 2003. People using on-line facilities are known to be more affluent, younger and often more environmentally conscious than the average consumer, making them an obvious target for what has recently become known as "g-commerce" or "green commerce." Ten percent of North American households already use the Internet for buying, banking or investing. By the end of last year, on-line retail revenue had reached $8 billion in North America.

Stock went up

The Green Mountain-Yahoo! deal was noted with approval on Wall Street, where Yahoo! Inc's stock was one of the leaders by the end of the day that the deal was announced, April 6. Its stock rose 9 1/8 to 228 1/4 on the Nasdaq. "It is a great way to use the Internet communications for an important cause-improving our environment," says Ellen Siminoff, vice president of business and strategic planning at Yahoo!. "Yahoo! can now provide a simplified solution for users selecting electricity, while also addressing an important consumer need."

"This is one of the first relationships between a leading Internet company and a retail energy provider," says Sam Wyly, chairman of GreenMountain.com. "Through this agreement, GreenMountain.com is executing our goal to raise awareness of environmental consciousness through the Web, while giving customers the ability to choose what is right for them and the environment." Chief marketing officer Kevin Hartley adds: "Helping the environment is just a click away."

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