While Washington State was pounded by winter storms, electric utilities weathered the customer care storm using TFCC's automated systems

Whether its hurricanes or snow and ice, storm season is busy season at Twenty First Century Communications.

Twenty First Century supports electric utilities all over the United States with High Volume Call Answering (HVCA), an automated outage call handling system that answers incoming customer calls and gathers vital information for the utility.

The National Energy Marketers Association (NEM) applauds the Maryland Public Service Commission for its adoption of significant electric choice rules yesterday. The rules pertain to utility purchase of receivables and prorated payment programs as well as utility consolidated billing. "The electric rules passed by the Commission, in particular purchase of receivables, have the potential to transform the retail electric market in the State, especially for small consumers. NEM and its members have observed this to be true in other jurisdictions," said Craig Goodman, President of NEM. "Indeed, adoption of these rules could not be better timed, coincident with the current examination of the retail electric market in Maryland by Governor O'Malley and the legislature. We believe that implementation of purchase of receivables by the Maryland utilities could bring about the availability of robust electric choice for consumers that had been envisioned with the inception of deregulation ten years ago," said Goodman.

"Fuel prices have just declined from historically high levels, and until these rules are implemented by the Maryland utilities, consumers cannot get the full benefit of the dramatic reduction in fuel prices that has occurred throughout the region. Utility regulations have locked in very high past fuel prices, and companies with the ability to bring consumers better value should not be locked out of the market at the very time when consumers need competitive options the most," said Goodman.

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