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E Source Announces Results from E-Business Metrics Survey

Study Finds Paperless Billing Adoption for Utilities is Now 9.6% and 18.0% of Utility Payments Are Made Online.

Boulder, CO, March 20, 2010 --( E Source is excited to announce the results of the 2009 E-Business Metrics Survey. One of the largest surveys of payment, billing, and online behaviors at utility web sites, it includes responses from 47 North American utilities representing more than 70 million utility accounts. Based on data collected in fall 2009, 9.6 percent of North American utility accounts are now paperless—a 35 percent increase since the 2007 survey. The number of online payments made by customers in 2009 is 18 percent, representing an increase of 17 percent from 2007.

The E-Business Metrics Survey, which was executed in collaboration with the Energy eBusiness Consortium, measures payment and billing adoption rates. It also includes data on paperless billing, electronic payment, and online registrations. For the first time, more advanced online transaction types such as service order requests, program enrollment, and overall online account activity are included.

Andrew Heath, director of E Source Customer Satisfaction Services, explains, “Utility efforts to convert customers to online services are paying off. More customers are choosing to go paperless—paying bills online and using other online services. Although the average paperless billing adoption rate is less than 10 percent, some utilities have significantly higher adoption rates. Three utilities reported adoption rates of over 20 percent, and the highest paperless billing adoption rate was 30.2 percent.”

The survey includes data from both U.S. and Canadian utilities. Payment options and behaviors are different in the two countries. For example, on average, 69.3 percent of payments are made electronically without any manual intervention in Canada compared to only 34.7 percent in the U.S. And approximately 45.0 percent of U.S. utility customers pay by check whereas only 9.9 percent of customers in Canada pay by that method.

Florence Connally, E Source research manager, adds, “More customers are registering with their utility’s web site. In 2009, 21.6 percent of customers have set up an account to see their account information online. The potential is even higher; one utility reports that more than half (53.8 percent) of its customers have registered for online access.”


Sample size



Best practice (%)

Paperless billing





Electronic payment





Deanna Francisco, president of the Energy eBusiness Consortium and E-Business Design and Development manager of Integrys Business Support LLC, explains, “Our consortium includes representatives from leading utilities in the U.S. and Canada. Our mission is to learn from each other and the E-Business Metrics Survey helps us identify best practices. Many of the best-practice measures are set by our group. This survey also provides a solid foundation for tracking these metrics each year, and we are looking forward to seeing how these metrics change in future surveys.”

Members of the E Source E-Business Service will receive a copy of the report “Key Findings from the 2009 E-Business Metrics Survey,” which provides a national benchmark of payment, billing (including paperless billing), and online behaviors at utility web sites. Utilities in the Energy eBusiness Consortium and companies that participated in the survey will receive access to the high-level survey results.

Contact Information
E Source
Wendy Bloechle

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