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New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approves results of electricity auction monitored by Charles River Associates

BOSTON, Mass., March 15, 2002 — Charles River Associates Inc. (CRA), provider of economic, financial, and business strategy consulting, Friday announced that the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) approved the results of the statewide Basic Generation Service (BGS) auction of electric power.

This auction was conducted to meet the demands of customers who have not selected an alternative electricity supplier and to secure BGS load on a competitive basis. CRA was retained to review and evaluate proposals to implement a BGS auction process and to advise the BPU through the course of the auction proceeding.

CRA has experience with developing and monitoring auctions in the energy industry and many other industries.

The “simultaneous descending clock auction” was designed to meet the needs of customers who currently receive BGS service through New Jersey’s four incumbent electric distribution companies (EDCs): Public Service Electric and Gas Company, GPU Energy, Conectiv Power Delivery, and Rockland Electric Company. The BGS service for all four companies, for the period August 1, 2002 through July 31, 2003, was bid simultaneously.

In its advisory role, CRA reviewed BGS proposals with respect to Board objectives; provided advice to the Board during the process of approving the BGS process and rules; and reviewed the BGS auction process for reasonableness of administration, guidelines for setting the starting price and auction volume, the default (or contingency) plan, and the proposed BGS contract.

In its monitoring role, CRA monitored the marketing and information efforts; advised the BPU on the significance of the indicative bids, the auction starting prices, and the tranche sizes; monitored the administration of the auction, including speed of rounds and price tickdown for each round; advised the BPU whether the final auction results reflected the approved auction process; and provided a report on the auction results with recommendations to improve future auctions.

“We are delighted that CRA was selected to review and oversee New Jersey’s BGS auction proposals and process,” said James C. Burrows, president and chief executive officer of CRA.

“Our team of auction and industry experts played a significant role in ensuring that the BGS auction process was successful in achieving the goals of the BPU, including securing reliable BGS supplies at competitive market prices and furthering the transition to a more competitive marketplace. Proper market designs, including carefully implemented auctions, will continue to attract increasing numbers of agencies and industries that see the advantages inherent in market-oriented solutions. We believe that CRA’s auctions and e-markets experience, combined with our industry expertise, is well suited to designing, implementing, and/or monitoring these market solutions.”

About CRA
Charles River Associates, an economics, finance, and business consulting firm, works with businesses, law firms, accounting firms, and governments in providing a wide range of services.

More information about the Company can be found on its Web site at www.crai.com.