SOURCE: Michigan Retailers Association

September 15, 2006 10:57 ET

New Michigan Retailers Association Program Offers Businesses Savings on Natural Gas Bills

LANSING, MI -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 15, 2006 -- Just in time for cooler weather, Michigan Retailers Association is offering a new program to help businesses save an estimated 8-12 percent off their natural gas utility bills.

The program is made possible through an agreement between MRA and Volunteer Energy Services, Inc. (VESI), a full-service natural gas supplier based in Columbus, Ohio, that offers services to commercial energy end-users. VESI has a strong track record of providing alternative energy supply and management to national clients (McDonald's, Wendy's, Yum Brands), as well as governmental agencies (the Ohio cities of Broadview Heights, Alliance), and industry affiliate groups (Ohio Grocers Association).

"This program is tailor-made for the variations in the retail industry, because there are no minimum purchase amounts, no long-term contracts and no added equipment or phone lines to install," said MRA President and Chief Operating Officer James P. Hallan. "It's another no-cost, value-added savings program offered by MRA to its member businesses."

The new program uses a business's existing natural gas utility -- MichCon or Consumers Energy -- for billing, service and meter reading. It simply provides the gas at lower rates. Participants will continue to pay their current utility company for gas, call the same number for service and have the same meter.

For information about MRA or its new natural gas savings program, contact MRA's John Mayleben, director of sales and marketing, at 800.366.3699 or jmayleben@retailers.com.

Michigan Retailers Association is the unified voice of retailing in Michigan and the nation's largest state trade association of general merchandise retailers. MRA's more than 5,500 retail business members operate more than 12,000 stores across the state.

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