ALBANY – Southern Company Energy Marketing and Albany-based Utility.com announced a partnership last week to provide Southern Company Energy Marketing’s wholesale electricity to Utility.com’s customers via the Internet.
Through this agreement, Southern Company Energy Marketing becomes the preferred wholesale electricity provider to Utility.com, the world’s first Internet utility company.
Southern Company Energy Marketing also has taken an equity stake in Utility.com, with the right to make an additional investment in subsequent private financings.
“Two markets are developing along parallel lines, and that’s why this partnership makes great sense,” Gary Morsches, president of Atlanta-based Southern Company Energy Marketing said in a news release. “This move helps us reach into the retail energy markets, particularly in areas where we have strategically placed assets. This also marks our first venture into the e-commerce arena. We sell wholesale electricity in deregulated markets, and Utility.com offers electricity and other utility services to consumers and small businesses who want to buy utilities online.”
Utility.com is currently registered to provide energy services in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Pennsylvania, and is seeking licenses to provide services to 23 states and the District of Columbia by the end of 2001. The company also provides Internet access to customers in the continental United States.
“This partnership demonstrates the significant assets and sophisticated trading system behind Utility.com’s electricity offering,” Chris King, chief executive officer of Utility.com, said in the news release. “As we expand, we will rely on Southern Company Energy Marketing to provide us with wholesale electricity at competitive prices. Southern Company Energy Marketing will also act as a virtual wholesale back-office and provide Utility.com with forecasting, scheduling and risk management for all of Utility.com’s electrical load requirements.”
Southern Company Energy Marketing is jointly owned by Southern Energy and Vastar Resources Inc. One of the largest energy marketing operations in the United States, Southern Company Energy Marketing provides energy marketing, risk management, trading, financial services, and other energy-related commodities, products and services to wholesale customers in North America.
Southern Company (NYSE: SO), the largest producer of electricity in the United States, is also the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric.
Utility.com (www.utility.com) offers electricity and Internet access and will offer gas, telephone and DSL services in the future. Utility.com is a privately held company that was founded in 1998 by energy and Internet industry experts, including idealab!, the innovator behind such companies as CarsDirect.com, eToys, GoTo.com, NetZero, PETsMART.com, and Tickets.com.