Unitil (ticker: UTL, exchange: New York Stock Exchange (.N))
News Release -
Usource Grows Rapidly. Customers save time, lower costs and simplify their buying process through Internet Energy Auction
Hampton, NH; October 12, 1999 - Unitil Corporation (AMEX:UTL) announced today that Usource, its Internet energy auction system serving large commercial and industrial customers, is beating its expectations for growth in customer acceptance. Launched earlier this year, Usource now has over 12.6 billion cubic feet (BCF) of natural gas under contract and has expanded service to New York, Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire. This represents roughly $38 million of energy under management.
Usource allows large commercial/industrial customers to post their energy needs on the Internet for over 50 pre-qualified suppliers to evaluate and bid. If the supplier offers a price the buyer wants, and the supplier meets the buyer's terms and conditions, the deal is done. Unlike many Internet sites that merely compare prices for standard offers by suppliers, Usource is a live auction in which suppliers make firm bids against firm commitments by customers to buy their electricity and gas.
"The reasons for these high growth figures are simple. Usource is delivering on its promises and that's why customers such as Revere Copper Products, Inc. and Pepsi Bottling Company are choosing Usource," said Unitil CEO, Bob Schoenberger. "Usource is real and it's delivering tangible benefits. Customers are seeing between 10-19% savings on their energy purchases. And, 99% of our first time customers have continued with Usource for their subsequent purchases, testimony to their satisfaction with Usource. We plan to expand into other markets as they open up."
Steve Kogut, Safety Manager of clothing manufacturer Joseph Pietrafesa Company in Liverpool, NY, finds that Usource simplifies the RFP process. He also likes the fact that as many as 50 pre-qualified suppliers may bid on his energy needs. "We have seen nothing but positive results."
Peggy Rosbrook, Accounting Manager of the Best Western Hotel in Watertown, NY, is pleased with the energy expertise Usource staffers provide. Usource applies its highly experienced organization towards analyzing customer costs and comparing it to supplier bids. Ms. Rosbrook cited her Usource experience this past Spring, when the hotel's natural gas contract was up for review. The Usource employees continually monitored prices and flagged her when the best time was to buy. She locked in the right price at the right time; natural gas prices rose shortly after her decision. "Take the time to check out Usource. You'll be glad you did." she advised.
Usource runs on a very sophisticated transaction-based software developed by Enermetrix.com (formerly known as North American Power Brokers, Inc.). Enermetrix.com operates an exchange to connect buyers and sellers of energy through Internet auctions and licenses its technology and access to the exchange to progressive energy service companies like Unitil. Enermetrix.com was a finalist in the 1999 Computerworld Smithsonian award for outstanding uses of information technology. (http://www.enermetrix.com/)
Enermetrix.com is a privately held company headquartered in Maynard, Massachusetts, with operations throughout the United States. The Company began operating in 1996 as North American Power Brokers, Inc. to deliver energy brokering and consulting services to the deregulating energy industry. It changed its name in August, 1999, to reflect a company that delivers Internet technology and business process standards to the energy industry. Enermetrix.com's award-winning Internet commerce system is the nation's most active exchange for commercial, industrial and other aggregate energy transactions. Energy buyers and sellers use the exchange and Enermetrix.com's related enterprise technology to share information, execute transactions and generate reports via the Web. Enermetrix.com revolutionizes the way its users manage deregulated energy business issues.
Unitil is a public utility holding company with electric and gas utilities in Massachusetts and Hampshire. Its subsidiaries are Concord Electric Company, Exeter & Hampton Electric Company, Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company, Unitil Power Corp., Unitil Realty Corp., Unitil Resources, Inc., and Unitil Service Corp.
For more information on Usource, visit Unitil at www.unitil.com or call Todd Black, Vice President, Sales and Marketing at 603-773-6530.
Liberty Lane West
Hampton, NH 03842-1720