BURLINGTON, MA--(Marketwire - Apr 15, 2011) - Over 400 executives from retail energy providers, utility affiliates, wholesale suppliers, technology firms, energy consumers and policy makers convened in San Antonio last week to discuss the state of competitive retail energy markets. At the 22ndExecutive Forum on Retail Energy hosted by KEMA, a global provider of business and technical consulting, these leaders generally agreed that retail markets are on the rebound. They pinpointed new opportunities for innovation in the energy supply industry, referencing smart grid technology adoption and advances in areas such as electric automation, smart metering, demand response and dynamic pricing. These technological advances, coupled with the passage of favorable policies, have created new market opportunities in both deregulated and regulated markets. The experts espoused an optimistic outlook for retail energy with a newly engaged consumer constituency.

In his keynote address, Mayo Shattuck, President and CEO of Constellation Energy Group, commented that through his company's direct day-to-day engagement with their diverse customer base, they are seeing first-hand an increased appetite for new products and energy management strategies. Shattuck commented that there are a number of recent market developments that are driving energy consumers to look at new options, which bodes well for Constellation and its track record of delivering innovative products and services to our customers.

"Retail markets are growing and expanding not just because competitors offer choice and lower prices; they're thriving because policies and technology are making it easier to offer innovative ways for customers to manage costs and save energy," said Hugo van Nispen, Managing Director, KEMA, Americas. "The challenge ahead, as we heard from customers in both regulated and restructured states, is to deliver on the promise of getting information from smart meters to customers quickly and in ways that help them make more intelligent decisions about their use."

"As policy leaders, we have put in place the policies, procedures and infrastructure that enable innovation and creativity in the competitive market so that customers can be an equal partner in deciding their energy procurement needs and have available to them a choice of products and services that they are accustomed to having in their other purchasing decisions," said the Hon. Barry Smitherman, Chairman, Public Utility Commission of Texas. "Customers finally have the opportunity to see what they are using and to quickly switch to providers that can help them save energy, and lower costs, and utilities have the information to better manage reliability and restore service after a storm or outage."

"Energy consumers in restructured states are seeing the benefits of competition in the innovative products and services designed for their specific needs," said Federico Peña, Co-Chairman of the Compete Coalition. "Our mission is to spread opportunities for energy choice across the nation and we are excited about the momentum this movement is gaining."

As the leading event in the US retail energy industry, KEMA's Executive Forum gathers senior executives, regulators, energy buyers, investors and other stakeholders from across North America to discuss the key business and policy issues facing retail energy markets. The two-day event of insight and networking focuses on the resurgence of retail competition following policy changes, lower energy prices, and an emerging economic recovery. The 2011 Forum features more than 40 senior executives and key stakeholders throughout eight sessions, including a panel of executives from the nation's leading retail energy suppliers.

Other speakers included representatives from: Comverge, Direct Energy, EDF Trading, EEI, EnergyBiz Magazine, EnerNOC, FirstEnergy Solutions, Galvin Electricity Initiative, New York PSC, NRG Energy, Pennsylvania PUC, Reliant Energy, Tendril Networks, TXU Energy, Wal-Mart and many others.

About KEMA
Founded in 1927, KEMA is a global provider of business and technical consulting, operational support, measurement and inspection, testing and certification for the energy and utility industry. With world headquarters in Arnhem, the Netherlands, KEMA employs more than 1,700 professionals globally with offices and representatives in more than 20 countries. KEMA's U.S. subsidiary, KEMA Inc. is headquartered in Burlington, Mass., and serves energy clients throughout the Americas and Caribbean.

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