RealTime IT News

Ontario Power Companies Launch E-Venture

[Toronto, CANADA] An e-business transaction (EBT) 'hub' powered by Internet technology will be the first of its kind in North America to provide centralized electronic data management and transaction services to local distribution companies and energy retailers when Ontario's new competitive electricity market opens next year.

Launched yesterday in Toronto, EBT Express is a Cdn $7.7 (US $11.3) million joint venture of Toronto Hydro Corporation and provincial generation company, Ontario Power Generation (OPG).

Under the new competitive market rules, electricity retailers are required by the regulator to set up customer accounts with local distribution companies (LDCs) as soon as customers select their energy retailer.

For the purpose of billing, LDCs and retailers need to send information back and forth to ensure customer accounts are accurate.

Addressing the new regulatory framework, EBT Express will act as a clearinghouse where transaction information is exchanged, including customer names, their local distribution company, their address, payment history, energy use, and cost of power.

Information passing through the hub is forwarded to the appropriate trading partner and records of the transaction are archived for the purposes of providing an audit trail and resolving customer disputes in a secure environment.

Excelergy eXACT, developed by Excelergy Corporation, an energy software solutions company, will provide the technology infrastructure for EBT Express.

Excelergy eXACT is a solution that translates, validates, manages, and delivers data exchanged among users. It uses XML as a standard language to structure and describe data so that it can be understood by different applications.

"The new Ontario competitive electricity market has created enormous potential for forward-thinking companies who understand how to leverage Internet technology," said Toronto Hydro Corporation president and chief executive officer, John Brooks.

"EBT Express provides a service that will make it easier and more cost-effective for retailers and market participants to do business in this market. We have the size and critical mass to make it work both here in the Ontario market, and nationally."