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The utility's reasoning? Deregulation and new competitive pressures
Peco Energy Co., facing new competition thanks to deregulation, is scaling back its investment in economic development in favor of more targeted marketing.
For years one of the Delaware Valley's key cheerleaders and business promoters, Peco is cutting its economic development department's budget by more than half - from $1 million to $400,000 annually, starting Jan. 1.
"We've got to be competitive in this new environment," said Gregory Byrnes, Peco's director of economic and business development. "We'll now be doing much more direct marketing."
The move is a setback to some of the Delaware Valley "flag-waving" that Peco has traditionally sponsored.
According to various Philadelphia economic development officials, the electric company's efforts not only brought in new businesses that bought electricity from Peco, they also served as a …