PHILADELPHIA -- BUSINESS WIRE -- September 20, 2000 -- UniGridEnergy, a joint venture between PECO Energy's Exelon Capital Partners and ACE USA Power Products, announced Wednesday the development and launch of its online energy marketplace, UniGridEnergy.com.
Created for commercial and industrial energy users and energy suppliers, the new marketplace will allow energy buyers and sellers to interact and conduct energy transactions, as well as access insurance and risk management products through the site.
The UniGridEnergy announcement comes just a week after Altra Energy Technologies reported that energy consumers had purchased a record amount of energy through its Altrade exchange in August, reaching 18.9 million megawatt hours (MWHs), surpassing the marketplace's previous record of 14.8 million MWHs set in February.
UniGridEnergy will provide buyers with price discovery tools, expert resources and risk management tools. Suppliers will have access to energy user data. UniGridEnergy.com also offers transmission scheduling for suppliers that do not have the resources, or the time, to do it themselves.
The company says that the marketplace will allow energy buyers to submit specific energy requirements, including supply deadlines, rate class and energy load profile data online. Energy suppliers will then be able to respond real-time, negotiating with the buyer in a confidential online format.
The UniGridEnergy Web site will also allow energy supply participants to post blanket pricing offers.
"This service has the potential to significantly reduce the time it takes to procure electricity and reduce my costs," said Leo Radkowski of Johns Manville, one of twenty-six companies that took part in a testing program for the site. Other participants included Air Products and Chemicals Inc., RR Donnelley & Sons Company and Niagara Mohawk Energy.
"As energy deregulation takes hold, commercial and industrial energy buyers are looking for new options as well as more efficient and profitable ways to conduct their energy purchases," said Frank Koza, general manager of UniGridEnergy, adding that the marketplace would provide new resources for market participants, most of whom are new to energy negotiations in a deregulated environment.
Under deregulation, most buyers and sellers complete their energy transactions through a paper RFP process, with fewer than 1 percent of electricity transactions conducted online in 1999, according to technology consultancy Forrester Research. However, that number is expected to reach 11 percent by 2004.
In its 1999 report, "The Surge of Online Energy," Forrester also noted that the growth in electricity sales from $1 billion in 1999, to over $100 billion in 2004, is expected to occur as electric deregulation spreads and online offerings become more comprehensive.
UniGridEnergy.com offers telephone support staffed by technical specialists experienced in contract negotiations in the energy marketplace, power marketing as well as system operations.
Exelon Capital Partners is a division of Exelon, a PECO Energy enterprise. With headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, PECO Energy has annual revenues exceeding $5 billion. PECO Energy established Exelon to manage all of its unregulated businesses apart from wholesale power generation and marketing.
ACE USA, also headquartered in Philadelphia, is the U.S. operation of the ACE Group of Companies, headed by ACE Limited. ACE USA provides insurance products and services through U.S. operating subsidiaries. The ACE Group of Companies provides insurance and reinsurance for clients internationally.
Additional reporting by iSource editorial staff.