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Efficiency Partnership Remains in 'Power'

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LOS ANGELES The California Public Utilities Commission has tapped three entities to launch statewide marketing campaigns to promote energy efficiency.

More than $20 million in funds has been allocated to the effort.

The largest portion of the account remains with Efficiency Partnership, consisting of all the state's investor-owned utilities and marketing firm McGuire & Co. in San Francisco, which contracts Grey in Los Angeles to handle advertising. The group is responsible for the state's "Flex your power" campaign. That contract is worth $15 million.

Univision Television Group in Sacramento, Calif., which partnered with Staples/Hutchinson & Associates in Brookefield, Wis., will continue to handle TV advertising and marketing to Hispanic communities. Billings are $3 million.

A new component of the state's energy efficiency efforts is an outreach to rural communities. Nearly $3 million has been allocated for that contract, which was awarded to Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn in Sacramento. Work will include print and radio ads, as well as community outreach.

The CPUC considered 28 proposals before awarding the contracts.

In 2002, the statewide programs were awarded to Univision and the Department of Consumer Affairs, which contracted the business to Grey. The DCA later opted out and Southern California Edison took over the program.

Funding for the campaigns originates from a 1 percent fee charged to rate payers, part of a 1996 state law passed to encourage public interest programs for promoting energy efficiency and the use of renewable resource technology.