Utilities begin to look at prizes, discounts and other incentives as a way to attract customers to the Internet and other bill-pay services

ATLANTA, July 26, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) — An increasing number of utilities have turned to incentives to drive participation of various customer self-service options and other bill payment services. While some have offered sweepstakes and other prize giveaways, others have used discounts or waved security deposits to increase usage of certain payment methods.

Utilities have leveraged the growing popularity of automated phone systems and the Internet to reduce costs, according to Chartwell’s latest report, Using Incentives to Move Customers to Self-Service Options: Internet and Bill Payment Methods. Although the convenience factor of these self-service methods may be enough to drive some customers to participate, others could be compelled to enroll in a utility’s programs given the offer of an incentive.

Using Incentives to Move Customers to Self-Service Options includes two case studies on utilities that have used or are offering incentives to drive customer participation. One electric utility has partnered, along with a number of other large U.S. companies, with an online bill payment vendor for its incentive promotion, while another energy delivery organization used its own giveaway to move customers to its online bill notification service. Though these incentive programs are

still cutting edge, the report consists of numerous other examples, including utility as well as non-industry success stories.

Using Incentives to Move Customers to Self-Service Options: Internet and Bill Payment Methods is available to non-Chartwell members for $350. The report is included in Chartwell’s Premier and Customer Care Research Series memberships. For information regarding the Customer Care Research Series or Chartwell’s Premier membership, call (404) 237-9099, or call (800) 432-5879. A free table of contents and summary of this report can be downloaded at www.energylibrary.com

About Chartwell Inc.

Chartwell Inc. seeks to provide a better understanding of technologies, issues and management practices in the utility and retail energy services industry through the delivery of information services and the organization of professional networking opportunities. Chartwell provides executives and managers in the utility and retail energy business up-to-date, unbiased information on the issues facing them as they strive to meet the demands of a rapidly changing industry.

Corporate Web site: www.chartwellinc.com

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