RealTime IT News

Europe Gets Its First Energy Procurement Service

[London, ENGLAND] Energy procurement has long been an Internet service in the United States, but now Europe can make energy savings at the cleverly named buyingpower.com, a new site launched Monday.

buyingpower is aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which it intends to group into communities within local geographic areas. By grouping together at the buyingpower energy portal, the businesses will increase their purchasing power and obtain lower energy prices.

buyingpower says it will achieve the lower prices by conducting competitive, online auctions with the suppliers. The lowest bidder will be the winning supplier for the community in question.

Les Hayden, chairman of buyingpower, said that group buying has been generating savings for years on the Internet -- but mainly for consumers, not for businesses. At the same time, deregulation of the energy industry has not led to significant savings for SMEs even though industrial energy prices have plummeted.

"Our service is an innovative proposition - demand aggregation and dynamic pricing - for a very special section of the business community, to get them the best price," said Hayden.

Damien Bombell, chief executive of buyingpower, said the company's mission is to deliver value to both SMEs and suppliers. He reported strong support from the business community and suppliers alike, in both the U.K. and the rest of Europe.

"SMEs get better prices for their energy and suppliers gain access to large groups of SMEs in each 'powergroup'. This helps suppliers reduce acquisition costs so even greater savings can be passed on to buyingpower members," said Bombell.

However, expansion across Europe will not be immediate. The service will move into Germany and Scandinavia towards the end of the year.

In the U.K., the first auctions -- initially for electricity but with gas following soon after -- will take place at the beginning of August.