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Public Utilities Reports

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Fortnightly Magazine - September 15 1999

News Analysis

Lori A. Burkhart, and Regina R. Johnson

Online services are popping up - for commodity trading, retail marketing and back-office billing. But is the Web right for every application?

A recent study by Connecticut-based META Group Inc. finds that while less than 5 percent of all utility commerce will be conducted electronically in 1999, 30 percent of customer service and retail bill payments will flow over the Internet by 2004. That prediction highlights a torrent of Web activity in recent months, from power trading online to retail solicitations to electronic customer billing and payment.

Off Peak

Frank Dixon

Investors look at environmental ratings for link to stock performance.

While socially responsible investors have been interested in environmental performance for some time, mainstream utilities investors are looking at the issue for a different reason - environmental leaders consistently achieve better financial and stock market performance than their less eco-efficient competitors.

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