At least 22 California plastics firms have contracted to buy power next year from electricity broker New Energy Ventures Inc., and more are considering a change.
California's electricity market is scheduled for deregulation Jan. 1, opening the way for businesses and individuals to choose a source other than a local utility.
By Nov. 1, New Energy will file lists of hundreds of business operations in various industries to facilitate Jan. 1 changeovers from California utilities, such as Edison International's Southern California Edison unit in Rosemead, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in San Francisco and Enova Corp.'s San Diego Gas & Electric Co. unit in San Diego.
``We've made unbelievable inroads'' in winning customers from ``status quo'' suppliers, New Energy's Andrew Singer, a plastics account manager for the Los Angeles-based buying group, said in a telephone interview.
New Energy Ventures is expanding into other states that have an emerging competitive energy market, he said.
The New Energy Buyers' Alliance consortium expects to be the largest retail electric purchasing aggregation in California in 1998 and already has delivered retail electricity to 11 large industrial users in Rhode Island.
A section of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. is cooperating.
``The bigger the buying group, the more power it will command on the open market,'' said Mike Godwin, membership representative at SPI's Western Section office in Irvine, Calif. SPI has posted New Energy's California contract on its fax-on-demand site at (800) 774-4614.
Recent California plastics industry signees with New Energy include Accent Plastics Inc. of Corona; Geiger Plastics Inc. of Gardena; JK Molds Inc. of Upland; LNP Engineering Plastics Inc. of Santa Ana; McWhorter Technologies of Lynwood; Mission Plastics of Rancho Cucamonga; Modified Plastics of Santa Ana; Plastic Molded Components Inc. of Cypress; Harrington Industry's Snow Plastics unit of San Bernardino; Spin Forge Inc. of El Segundo; and Swart Industries Corp. of South San Francisco.
By mid-May, New Energy had signed up Advanced Foam Inc. of Gardena; Agri-Cel Inc. of Delano; Brevet Industries of Irvine; Jatco Inc. of Union City; Master Plastics Inc. of Vacaville; Microdyne Plastics Inc. of Ontario; NDC Systems of Irwindale; Perrin Manufacturing Co. of City of Industry; R&S Manufacturing & Supply Inc. of Pomona; Superior Mold Co. of Ontario; and U.S. Foam Inc. of Compton.
Those not on the Nov. 1 list can switch later. New Energy faces competition from utilities and other potential major providers, such as Enron Inc. of Houston and Southern Co. of Atlanta.