National Water & Power introduces new services for utility cost management

SANTA ANA, Calif., July 10, 2002 — National Water & Power (NWP) has launched Energy Information Services+ (EIS+), a comprehensive service for energy usage reporting, utility bill payment, auditing and tenant billing for multi-tenant real estate property owners.

With multiple sites, vendors and departments involved in the energy billing and procurement process, conventional approaches to utility management have been cumbersome and time consuming.

According to a 1997 Institute of Management and Administration study, it costs an accounts payable department an average of $16.54 to process a single vendor payment. The complex regulatory environment and a general lack of utility management expertise at the property management level further compounds this operational inefficiency.

EIS+ provides property owners with outsourced access to accurate, consolidated, comparative utility usage information and bill payment services. The services are designed to optimize the entire energy management process by enhancing the energy-related decisions being made by property managers.

EIS+ converts data into actionable knowledge by providing comparative usage and trend analysis reporting, resulting in improved vendor payment accuracy and highlighting opportunities for on- site energy conservation.

“Before we began utilizing these services, we were losing money every month on vacant unit billings and late fees,” said Tom Spangler, vice president and director of business development services for United Dominion Realty Trust. “They helped us collect better utility information so that we could identify problem areas and lower our overall utility usage and costs.”

EIS+ encompasses the following services:

* Outsource bill payment- Includes professional management of payables at half the normal processing costs. Major benefits include on-time payments, avoidance of late charges and duplicate payment of bills, and pursuit of missing bills.
* Energy reporting- Internet access to comparative and trend data revealing property consumption patterns and analysis of regional rates and tariffs to improve budgeting and forecasting.
* Rate and tariff auditing- Assures that utility charges are both accurate and best-rate priced.
* Vacant unit recovery- Recovers utility costs inappropriately billed to the property owner rather than the resident.
* Procurement- Helps property owners find energy savings by securing alternate sources for electricity and natural gas in deregulated markets, co-generation opportunities and major equipment replacement.
EIS+ is delivered through an exclusive partnership with Cass Information Systems, a financial institution with more than 45 years experience in payment and information systems.

“Our relationships with CASS is a key differentiator for EIS+,” said Robert Sherman, president of billing services at NWP. “Not only are they a financial institution with decades of information management and payment experience, but they provide instant access to key intelligence that enables smart and dynamic business decisions. When combined with NWP’s extensive utility billing and customer care expertise, EIS+ is clearly the industry’s most comprehensive resource for optimal utility cost management.”

About National Water & Power

National Water & Power (NWP) is a privately held company headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif. NWP provides a broad range of billing and customer care solutions to both the real estate and utility industries. NWP’s billing and sub-metering operations service more than a half million apartment units in 42 states for some of the country’s largest public and private property owners. Open-c Solutions, is a wholly owned subsidiary of NWP, and is located in Minneapolis. Open-c Solutions develops and implements customer information systems (CIS) software for major utilities, services providers and billing service bureaus.

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