Customer Systems Briefs

IMServ offers EDO

IMServ (Invensys Measurement Services), a subsidiary of Invensys Metering Systems, has a new service, Energy Data On-demand (EDO). With EDO, utilities and energy providers can offer customers low-cost access to on-demand meter data from their desktop. Customers can select a meter or group of meters and automatically schedule immediate reading or user-specified reading frequency. Within minutes, data can be viewed via IMServ’s Web-based data analysis service.

Soliance signs two contracts

Soliance, a San Diego-based total information solutions provider, signed separate agreements with deregulated energy service providers Energy America and Direct Energy Marketing Ltd. to provide information service that includes enrollment, customer billing operations, and bill creation and support. Both companies are subsidiaries of Centrica plc, a British energy and home-services company.

Anaheim selects Derivion

Derivion signed an agreement with City of Anaheim Public Utilities, a publicly owned utility company, to provide Internet billing services for Anaheim Public Utilities’ more than 100,000 customers. Using Derivion inetBiller to manage e-billing processes, Anaheim Public Utilities will enhance customer care with the convenience of e-bill view and pay at their Web site while reducing billing costs by eliminating postage and check-processing fees.

Peace Software signs Delinea

Delinea Corp. has licensed Peace’s Energy software as the best-in-class customer management application for its ASP services targeted at mid-sized regulated and deregulated utilities. Peace Software provides advanced customer management solutions for utilities and retail energy companies. Delinea is a vertical service provider committed to transforming energy enterprises through vertical application services provision, digital consulting and outsourcing services.

Montana Power brings customers online

With a new Internet access system (IAS) by ORCOM, Montana Power Co.’s customers can go online to research individual property energy consumption or view multiple energy accounts with a single login. ORCOM, providing hosted customer information and billing services for Montana Power since October 1999, helped Montana Power meet the demand for web-based services, by cooperatively developing its IAS. The web-based customer service center has features such as the Realtor’s Corner-allowing real estate agents to show potential property buyers energy consumption for a property.

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CMS satisfies

CMS Energy Corp.’s energy marketing unit, CMS Marketing, Services and Trading, was ranked first in customer satisfaction among the 68 largest natural gas marketing companies in the U.S. by an independent study. The study, by Mastio & Co., surveyed 1,200 energy buyers on 39 different customer satisfaction attributes including reliability of supply, price competitiveness, ease of ongoing business, quality and maturity of sales and service representatives, low marketing and sales force turnover, responsiveness of voice mail systems, quality of relationships, accurate billing, plus overall preference, day-to-day service and performance.

Vectren gains CLEC licenses

Vectren Communications Services (VCS) has been licensed as a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) in the states of California, Iowa, Oregon, Texas and Washington. In addition to the five states that have been approved, VCS has another CLEC application pending and is considering filing in other states as well. As a licensed CLEC, VCS can provide voice, video and data services for its utility clients, including cable television, Internet and telephony.

Entergy launches electronic billing

Entergy Corp. launched its electronic billing payment program through CheckFree i-Solutions. Entergy customers can view bills on demand and review account balances with full bill detail from personal computers. Consumers approve electronic bill payment through their designated bank, credit union or brokerage account. Customers who pay bills electronically through this service are protected from unauthorized transactions or processing delays by the CheckFree Guarantee.

ConneXt enhances C&I billing

ConneXt, a Seattle-based software developer of billing and customer care solutions for the utility industry, entered a joint marketing agreement with Silicon Energy and Enermetrix. This partnership allows ConneXt to deliver a commercial and industrial (C&I) billing solution that combines customer care with the partnering companies’ load management and e-business energy procurement applications. ConneXt’s key account solution, designed specifically for a utility’s large C&I customers, is a configuration of the company’s flagship billing and customer care solution, ConsumerLinX, announced in February 2001.

EnerCheck signals consumers

WeatherWise USA has developed a service called EnerCheck that will provide energy consumers with a clear signal of their energy efficiency efforts. EnerCheck will also help energy providers implement and expand energy conservation programs. The EnerCheck service evaluates residential and small commercial energy users of an energy provider, giving each consumer a customized report showing how their energy efficiency improved or declined over a specified time period. EnerCheck uses proprietary technology that eliminates the effects of weather changes and energy price fluctuations from the calculation of energy efficiency.

ERCOT contracts TFCC

Ohio-based Twenty First Century Communications (TFCC) will assist the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) in efforts associated with the restructuring of the electric utility industry in Texas. Major criteria of the program under the contract include: development of a bilingual interactive voice response system, notification measures protecting consumers against slamming, and creation and maintenance of a “do not call” list of customers who do not want to be called by electricity marketers.

Toronto Hydro licenses DocuCorp solution

Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited will license DocuCorp’s software solution to enable Internet presentation of utility bills. The City of Toronto, Canada’s largest municipality, owns Toronto Hydro, which provides services to 650,000 customers. The option to receive and pay bills via the Internet is quickly becoming a standard. Studies have projected that more than 5 billion bills will be available on presentment servers in 2001, and electronic payments are expected to grow 1,540 percent from 1997 to 2005.

SCANA signs up for BillGen

SCANA Corp., a major Southeastern electric and gas utility, has contracted for BillGen, a new complex billing and rates management software solution from SCT, a global provider of e-business solutions. The contract is among the first for the SCT BillGen system since SCT acquired EnerLink, the system’s developer, from SAIC in August 2000. The SCT BillGen solution, which manages billing processes for large commercial and industrial utility enterprises, gives utilities and other energy suppliers increased charge handling and complex billing capabilities. The BillGen product will support approximately 1,000 of SCANA’s largest customers.