The Customer Information System (CIS) is Paramount to Improving Revenue Assurance for Utilities, Energy Insights Confirms

FRAMINGHAM, MA – MAY 22, 2007 – In an Energy Insights report that publishes today, utility customer operations expert Karen Blackmore touts the customer information system (CIS) as key to improving revenue assurance practices by utilities. The report, entitled Revenue Assurance – Making the Best Return on Products and Services (Doc #EI206795), cites theft, bad debt, late payments and disputed bills as sources of the greatest revenue leakage. Blackmore further contends that utilities are starting to scrutinize billing and meter-related errors as major contributors to lost revenue.

"U.S. utilities bill $300 billion each year for services, and additional potential revenues are never captured because of other losses, such as non-billed energy and line loss," says Karen Blackmore, research director at research and advisory firm Energy Insights. "The CIS can play a critical role in stemming this staggering revenue loss, and utilities should take advantage of the newer CIS solutions that offer revenue assurance features not found in earlier versions."

In addition to highlighting the key contributors to revenue leakage, Blackmore identifies and explains how to implement three key strategies that improve revenue assurance in the meter-to-cash process:

— Consider revenue assurance as a comprehensive set of tools that ties to the meter-to-cash process and make improvements to the entire business process

— Implement hardware and software-based automated solutions to complement or augment the process

— Change credit, collections, and billing practices and policies

"Utilities that have used a multi-pronged approach to revenue assurance, treating it as a full process with multiple automated systems, are most successful in recovering all rightful revenues," Blackmore adds.

These findings, and more, are available online at . The report publishes in conjunction with the CIS Week conference held in Kissimmee, Florida this week, where Blackmore will present two workshops on Multisourcing–Outsourcing and Technology Trends in 2007 and Beyond.

About Energy Insights, an IDC Company

Energy Insights, an IDC company, provides research-based advisory and consulting services focused on market and technology developments in the electricity, natural gas, and oil industries. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of direct industry experience, Energy Insights' research spans the energy value chain — upstream, wholesale, delivery, and customer service — providing independent, timely, and relevant analysis focused on key business issues. Energy Insights serves a diverse and growing global client base, including electric and gas utilities, IT vendors, independent power producers, retail energy providers, oil and gas companies, equipment manufacturers, government agencies, financial institutions, and professional services firms. For more information, visit .

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