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.”

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