Portuguese FlagLisbon, Portugal --- (METERING.COM) --- September 4, 2006 – From today the nearly six million domestic electricity customers in Portugal will be able to choose from among four other utility suppliers, in addition to the former state monopoly Energias de Portugal (EDP).

The four new power companies are Union Fenosa and Iberdrola from Spain, Enel Viesgo of Italy and Sodesa, a joint venture between Endesa of Spain and Portuguese conglomerate Sonae. They have all registered with ERSE, the Portuguese energy regulator, to provide electricity to domestic consumers, but plan to wait until October – when ERSE announces its power tariffs for 2007 – before they begin operations.

EU legislation requires that all consumers should be able to choose their power provider by July 2007. In Portugal large users have been able to benefit from competition since 2000; by the end of last year some 13,000 companies, taking up 21% of total consumption in the country, had moved to alternate suppliers.

ERSE is in the process of alerting all residential consumers to the fact that they can change power providers a maximum of four times a year without penalty.