Darienne L. Dennis
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April 14, 2000
PowerGen Appoints Accenture in Preparation for the New Electricity Trading Agreements (NETA)

LONDON, April 14, 2000 -- In anticipation of the most significant change in the electric utility industry since deregulation in 1989, PowerGen, the UK’s leading integrated electricity and gas company, has chosen Accenture as the company’s prime contractor to prepare for the New Electricity Trading Arrangements (NETA). Accenture, the world’s leading management and technology consulting firm, will design and build a programme that affects all areas of PowerGen’s business including production, trading, and retailing. NETA rules are scheduled to be in place by 31 October 2000.

PowerGen continues to support the Government’s reforms of the electricity market and will work with Accenture to ensure delivery of all systems and capabilities required to operate in the evolving utility market. This will include the development of systems to enable interfacing with the new market, development of electronic exchanges as well as enabling additional business-to-business applications that will make PowerGen an active participant in the new market.

PowerGen’s NETA Programme Manager, Gary Marsh said - "The introduction of the new trading arrangements represents a important challenge for PowerGen and having the right systems in place is critical for our success. We have chosen Accenture for their depth of understanding of the new trading arrangements. Also, we were impressed by the quality of their people and their significant commitment to us as an organisation. We look forward to working with them."

"Accenture is delighted that PowerGen has chosen us to help the company prepare for the new market," said Gavin Rennie, Partner for Accenture’s Energy Trading and Risk Management (ETRM) Practice in Europe. "We are committed to helping PowerGen succeed in the UK market and we will leverage our global experience to help them build the capabilities they require to be ready to compete in the new market from day one."

Notes to Editors

Accenture was appointed after an open and competitive tender process which was run by PowerGen. Accenture was appointed from a final shortlist of three companies.

The NETA process was started in October 1997 when the Government asked Office of Electricity Regulation (OFFER) to consider how a review of electricity trading arrangements might be undertaken. In July 1998, the then Director General of Electricity Supply (DGES) proposed new arrangements for the wholesale trading of electricity in England and Wales.

In July 1999, the DGES published further proposals for implementing the new electricity trading arrangements in England and Wales. He also published in July 1999 a draft specification for the balancing mechanism and imbalance settlement. In October 1999, Ofgem and the DTI published a report confirming new arrangements for the wholesale trading of electricity.

The Utilities Bill, announced in the Queen’s speech on 17 November 1999, will give the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, the one off power to alter the generators licences to introduce the NETA regime. It is the Government’s intention to introduce the new arrangements from October 2000.

Key objectives for the reforms are to drive electricity prices down further and to increase the level of competition in the market.

PowerGen is the UK’s best-known electricity company and one of the two best-known energy brands. The company generates, distributes and supplies electricity to homes and businesses as well as supplying gas. PowerGen has a retail customer base of over 2.6 million accounts and is the market leader in the industrial and commercial electricity sector and in the provision of large scale CHP plant.