Study Says Ohio Electric Choice Nearing Goals More than Six Months Early

Apr 30, 2001, 01:00 ET from Ohio Electric Choice

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 30 /PRNewswire/ --A recent survey shows the state-
 mandated consumer education campaign for electric choice is approaching its
 goals ahead of schedule.
    Ohio Electric Choice (OEC) is the consumer education campaign designed to
 provide the information and tools consumers need to make informed choices
 about their electric supplier. With less than five months of activities
 conducted in the first year, general awareness about electric competition has
 risen from 38.2 percent to 62.3 percent.  This increase is more than half way
 to the one-year goal of 90 percent awareness.  Awareness among business
 leaders has similarly increased from 53.8 percent to 70.8 percent.
     Real knowledge levels among Ohioans about electric choice is even closer
 to the OEC goal established at the beginning of the campaign.  When first
 surveyed last year, only 19 percent of residents could correctly identify the
 answers to 10 true/false questions about electric choice.  Five months into
 the campaign, that knowledge level has risen to 33 percent, nearly reaching
 the OEC knowledge level goal of 35 percent.
     "This research is extremely helpful to the campaign," says Judy Jones,
 Commissioner of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.  "While it shows us
 where our successes are in reaching consumers, the greater help is where it
 shows us how we can improve and do this even better. Using this information,
 we can exercise our flexibility in adjusting the campaign to add a new
 emphasis to help residents understand the different components of electric
 choice."
     For example, the answers to the true/false questions indicate there is a
 need for emphasis on the issue of what happens in the event of a power outage.
 One-quarter of consumers (25 percent) incorrectly thought they should call
 their new electric supplier when the power goes out while another 52 percent
 were unaware of what they should do.  In the event of a power outage,
 consumers should still call their local electric utility, which will continue
 to be responsible for repairing outages and downed wires.
     "Overall, what's very impressive in this survey is that the Ohio Electric
 Choice campaign has succeeded in significantly reducing the number of
 residents who 'don't know' important aspects of competition or were not aware
 of electric choice," says Ohio Consumers' Counsel Robert S. Tongren.
     The survey was conducted by the Center for Research & Public Policy on
 behalf of Ohio Electric Choice and was done from Feb. 5 - 16, 2001.  4200
 consumers divided among the state's eight electric utility territories were
 interviewed for the survey.   The survey had a margin of error of plus or
 minus 3 percent.
     To learn more about electric competition in Ohio, consumers are encouraged
 to call 1-888-OEC-1314 (1-888-632-1314) or visit www.OhioElectricChoice.com to
 obtain a free Consumer Guide and other educational materials.
     Using the combined strengths of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio,
 the Ohio Consumers' Counsel and the state's local electric utilities, Ohio
 Electric Choice is the official statewide education campaign designed to
 create awareness and educate consumers about the new competitive electric
 market.
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SOURCE Ohio Electric Choice
    COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 30 /PRNewswire/ --A recent survey shows the state-
 mandated consumer education campaign for electric choice is approaching its
 goals ahead of schedule.
    Ohio Electric Choice (OEC) is the consumer education campaign designed to
 provide the information and tools consumers need to make informed choices
 about their electric supplier. With less than five months of activities
 conducted in the first year, general awareness about electric competition has
 risen from 38.2 percent to 62.3 percent.  This increase is more than half way
 to the one-year goal of 90 percent awareness.  Awareness among business
 leaders has similarly increased from 53.8 percent to 70.8 percent.
     Real knowledge levels among Ohioans about electric choice is even closer
 to the OEC goal established at the beginning of the campaign.  When first
 surveyed last year, only 19 percent of residents could correctly identify the
 answers to 10 true/false questions about electric choice.  Five months into
 the campaign, that knowledge level has risen to 33 percent, nearly reaching
 the OEC knowledge level goal of 35 percent.
     "This research is extremely helpful to the campaign," says Judy Jones,
 Commissioner of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.  "While it shows us
 where our successes are in reaching consumers, the greater help is where it
 shows us how we can improve and do this even better. Using this information,
 we can exercise our flexibility in adjusting the campaign to add a new
 emphasis to help residents understand the different components of electric
 choice."
     For example, the answers to the true/false questions indicate there is a
 need for emphasis on the issue of what happens in the event of a power outage.
 One-quarter of consumers (25 percent) incorrectly thought they should call
 their new electric supplier when the power goes out while another 52 percent
 were unaware of what they should do.  In the event of a power outage,
 consumers should still call their local electric utility, which will continue
 to be responsible for repairing outages and downed wires.
     "Overall, what's very impressive in this survey is that the Ohio Electric
 Choice campaign has succeeded in significantly reducing the number of
 residents who 'don't know' important aspects of competition or were not aware
 of electric choice," says Ohio Consumers' Counsel Robert S. Tongren.
     The survey was conducted by the Center for Research & Public Policy on
 behalf of Ohio Electric Choice and was done from Feb. 5 - 16, 2001.  4200
 consumers divided among the state's eight electric utility territories were
 interviewed for the survey.   The survey had a margin of error of plus or
 minus 3 percent.
     To learn more about electric competition in Ohio, consumers are encouraged
 to call 1-888-OEC-1314 (1-888-632-1314) or visit www.OhioElectricChoice.com to
 obtain a free Consumer Guide and other educational materials.
     Using the combined strengths of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio,
 the Ohio Consumers' Counsel and the state's local electric utilities, Ohio
 Electric Choice is the official statewide education campaign designed to
 create awareness and educate consumers about the new competitive electric
 market.
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X58918044
 
 SOURCE  Ohio Electric Choice