SMS offers an alternative to paper billing. Smart Meters Driving Adoption Customer Engagement Supporting the Payment Process Learning from Europe
Text messaging promises benefits in customer service and bill-payment efficiencies. Utilities have been slow to take up the opportunities, but successes in other industries and among European utilities is opening the door to SMS transactions for American power companies.
Despite several high-profile deals, utilities remain cautious about outsourcing their key business processes.
It seems that "outsourcing" has become a dirty word among utility executives. But though left unsaid in polite conversation, the word is still on everybody's mind. They might even be doing it. They just aren't talking about it.
PLT: History of Developments and Debacles
PLT could allow energy companies to provide Internet, voice, and data via the grid, but technological hurdles and fierce competition remain obstacles.
John L. Domagalski
Britain's top energy suppliers compete on price but offer their own unique benefits and incentives.
In addition to the effects of regulatory reform and policy, certain consumer, environmental and technological shifts in the United Kingdom are effecting significant changes in the manner in which electric and gas companies competing for customers in the mass market. The U.K. residential market was opened to electric retail competition between September 1998 to May 1999. As of September 1999, about 10 percent of all U.K. residential customers had changed electricity suppliers.
Lori A. Burkhart
PITTSBURGH CHALLENGES MERGER; ALLEGES COLLUSION
The city of Pittsburgh has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Allegheny Power Systems Inc., and Duquesne Light Co., to stop the merger proposed by the two companies.
In its Sept. 29 court filing, Pittsburgh claimed the two utilities acted jointly to restrain trade. The city said the companies did this by agreeing to maintain higher rates for electric retail service at two industrial sites targeted for redevelopment zones pending their merger.