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    Residents in Connecticut have been free to choose their own electricity supplier since the state implemented energy deregulation laws in 2000, however reports show the bulk of customers still have not switched despite alluring lower electricity rates.

    According to the Hartford Courant, most recent estimates show half of the state's 1.4 million electric customers still receive their power from state utilities, instead of retail energy providers who often offer electricity per kilowatt hour and at much lower rates. In an attempt to entice more people to switch energy providers, many cities are signing endorsement deals with the power companies, allowing the independent electric supplier to use the town as a part of a marketing plan, while the town benefits from a discount on electricity rates.

    The first company to sign such a deal was Direct Energy, which has been endorsed by Coventy, Willimantic/Mansfield and Hampton for three years.

    "We thought we'd clear through the clutter and have one supplier to recommend," said John Elsesser, Coventry's town manager. "There's not a lot of effort on the town's part, but if we can save our residents money that is a good thing."

    Connecticut is one of several states benefiting from a deregulated energy market. Others include Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and New Jersey.