Energy and commodity prices have been increasing for many months, wreaking havoc on corporate budgets for fuel, raw materials, heat and power. Companies can hedge exposures with derivatives, but not every company has the expertise on staff to stay on top of fast-moving markets. When it comes to electricity, most settle to negotiate the best price available on the day they sign an annual contract.

Constellation NewEnergy says it can offer a better, less risky strategy to deal with electricity costs at least. With Constellation's i2i program–standing for information to implementation–finance departments of large-scale energy users, such as hotels or manufacturers, are offered

a way to develop a long-term energy purchasing strategy that takes into account a company's appetite for risk and long-term budgeting goals. "Electricity is an input that can be hedged and managed like other inputs," says Bruce McLeish, senior vice president of products and pricing for Constellation NewEnergy.

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