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Utilities’ e-business plans on track, Chartwell study finds

ATLANTA, Jan. 3, 2001 (PRNewswire) — Despite dot-com financial struggles and energy market volatility, most North American utility companies are moving ahead with e-business plans, Chartwell’s latest study of e-business activity in electricity and natural gas markets shows.

Chartwell’s Guide to E-Business in the Energy Industry 2001 focuses on the business-to-customer side of e-commerce transactions and Internet-based services, and reveals that customer relationship management, integrating traditional business functions and systems with the web, and determining just what Internet services to provide are among the biggest industry concerns.

The just-released, 456-page Chartwell’s Guide to E-Business in the Energy Industry 2001 provides all-new information on how many utilities and energy retailers are now using the web to sell energy to their C&I customers and provide usage and billing data.

Also, the Internet as another customer-contact portal is gaining popularity — nearly 18% of energy companies offer online sign-up for service; another 27% plan this option. The past year also saw for the first time a small percentage of utilities providing web-enabled customer service via “live chat” with CSRs.

Providing customers with access via the web is becoming an integral part of doing business. “Our latest study confirms that traditional utilities as well as the new breed of ESPs believe the web will play an essential part in future business, and the leading companies have their strategies in place and are moving forward,” says Dennis Smith, Chartwell editorial director. “Many others, from the smallest co-ops to the largest IOUs, are just now getting on board; and developing a central e-business strategy to improve services and enhance revenues is the challenge for these organizations.”

Chartwell’s Guide to E-Business in the Energy Industry 2001 also reveals that, while many dot-com retailers struggle to make a go of it, the energy industry has its online success stories as well as online retailers who vow success with a complete line of energy services via the web.

This report features an all-new industry analysis, 30 in-depth case studies, an exclusive listing of over 80 vendors, and a look at the 100 surveys conducted to gather this valuable data. Chartwell’s Guide to E-Business in the Energy Industry 2001 can be purchased for only $1495 plus shipping, and is available electronically and in print. For more information visit www.chartwellinc.com/research.htm or call 800.432.5879.

SOURCE: Chartwell Inc.