Retailer Enmax aims for the mass market with new green contracts

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Calgary electricity retailer Enmax Energy is hoping to move wind power out of its niche and into the mass market by automatically including it in the company's fixed price, long term contracts for residential consumers. Enmax is offering three and five year contracts that include 10% wind power. Until now, customers have had to sign up separately for wind under Enmax's premium priced Greenmax program, which has about 3000 residential and 200 commercial and industrial customers. Greenmax will continue alongside the wind flavoured long term contracts. "Rather than doing niche marketing, this really does make it a mass market offer that will have a wider appeal," says Greenmax manager Theresa Howland. The incremental costs of the wind component are built into the plan's pricing. Enmax, says Howland, sees wind as a way to differentiate itself in a competitive power market that is expected to heat up this spring with the entry of Direct Energy Marketing Ltd. Direct Energy, a subsidiary of Britain's Centrica PLC, is a major provider of retail gas and electricity with 44 million customers worldwide. Enmax was able to broaden its market for wind because of its 50% stake in the 75 MW McBride Lake Wind Farm under construction in southern Alberta, says Howland. The company is buying the project's entire output.

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