Report: Utilities Increasingly Turning to E-Billing

Companies that deliver water, gas, electricity and other services to
households and
businesses have stepped up plans to offer e-business services to lock in
customers and lock out the competition, says a new study.

According to the study by Killen & Associates , by year-end 2002,
billers will use
electronic bill presentment (EBP) to send 27 percent of the bills they issue.
The report, entitled “Utilities: EBPP Opportunities and Threats,” examines
the ways
in which utilities can compete for share in new and existing markets using
electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) services.

“Globally, utilities lead in repetitive billing, accounting for over 25
percent of all global repetitive bills,” said Michael Killen, founder and
chairman of the market research firm.

“There are clear incentives for them to
convert repetitive bill payments from the current heavy reliance on paper
checks and cash to fully electronic methods. Not the least of these
incentives is new competition to their long-held market positions. The CEOs
of the utilities are reacting to new realities of the market.”

“Many large electric and gas companies and their chosen suppliers are leading
the way,” Killen said. “Among them are PECO Energy and Con Edison,
distributing bills through TransPoint; Boston Edison, using eDocs and
CheckFree; Carolina Power & Light and Virginia Power, using CheckFree; and
Cinergy, using Princeton eCom.”

San Antonio Water & Power has chosen and Kissimmee Utility
Authority of Florida picked Derivion.

“As regulators loosen the strings on what utilities can and cannot do, we are
going to see more of them offering multiple services. They will begin to
capitalize on e-commerce opportunities, using EBPP to gain other e-commerce
revenues,” Killen said.

The study examines the utilities’ billing cost structure, global and regional
bill presentment and payment trends, global deployment forecasts, analysis of
bill payment types and transaction costs, annual and cumulative EBPP
penetration rates through 2010, current supplier/utility relationships,
EBPP-related revenue growth opportunities, and business drivers.

The study
makes recommendations and suggests actions to take for the survival and
success of the utility companies. The study also reports on recent EBPP
activities by utilities in Canada and Europe.

Killen & Associates provides EBPP business intelligence to business
professionals in the telco, utilities, and financial services industries

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