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New Jersey market proposal shunned

GreenMountain.com will not participate in New Jersey's new retail market for electricity, or at least not until the proposed rules are changed. Details of the market were still being pinned down last month, but the state Board of Public Utilities has ruled that marketers must obtain a signature from those switching supplier, which makes signing up customers far more costly, particularly for a company like GreenMountain relies much on the Internet for building its customer base. Furthermore, electricity suppliers are being required to pay a security bond to the incumbent utility. "They claim that this protects the utility in case the supplier does not come through with the supply," says Green Mountain's John Holtz. In effect it is a second barrier, he says. In Green Mountain's case, the bond would be $5-6 million if the company were as successful as it has been in Pennsylvania. "We haven't abandoned New Jersey completely -- we're making our case to government officials," he says. The retailer is still intending to move into the new markets in New York, Maryland and Massachusetts.

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