Welcome to the new UTILITY NETWORK. Providing a secure online internet based back office data and invoice processing solution for use by new electricity retailers in Alberta. We encourage municipalities and local entrepreneurs all over Alberta to seriously consider opening up their own local electricity retailing business. UTILITYnet has removed one of the major barriers to entry into this competitive market
Our electricity retailing system is designed to process all metered and consumer invoicing data on behalf of UTILITYnet’s retail clients and respective customers. This online solution is linked into all major Wire Service Providers in the province and provides you with “Energy Management Reports”, “Paperless Billing” and “Direct Billing”. But most importantly, the new retailers now have access to the same robust database and automated systems that Alberta’s major industrial clients have been using for over 30 years.
Imperial Oil & TransAlta pioneered the first electronic billing (EBL) file process in Alberta. The electronic file (replacing thousands of individual paper invoices) was used as the source input data file processed by the invoice validation application known as the Electrical Power Supervision System (EPSS). Madeline Low, one of the founding partners in UTILITYnet, who at that time owned SoftLogic, was contracted to support the IT development & maintenance of the system. As it remains today, the objectives of EPSS are focused on three core business needs:
- Invoice Validation
EPSS automated the process of validating the correctness of utility invoices against various filter thresholds. Today, behind the scene, ISIS is the automated module application developed by UTILITYnet that is used to process plus validates all wires, settlement, and power pool invoice statement data.
- Financial Link
EPSS streamlined the journalizing of electrical power utility invoices to the company's general ledger. Bridges have been built to automate the posting to most financial systems including SAP, JD Edwards and D&B.
- Energy Management
EPSS provided a number of energy management reports for use by both corporate and field personnel. During the last few years, the need for energy management has been expanded to include a variety of risk management analytical tools.
Soft Logic obtained the marketing rights to EPSS from Imperial Oil and over the following 10 years firms including Shell, Chevron, BP, CNRL, Gulf, TransCanada and Pengrowth licensed EPSS.
Soft Logic was reorganized and Utility Network & Partners Inc. (UTILITYnet) was launched, acquiring the intellectual property rights of EPSS from Imperial Oil. EPSS was expanded to meet the business needs of major Oil & Gas companies operating in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
The Alberta government embarked on unbundling and deregulating electricity generation, wires operations and retailing. As the electricity industry restructured the roles of the utilities; thus setting the framework for customer choice and paving the way for New Retailers and Self-Retailers to enter the market. UTILITYnet re-focused from simply marketing and supporting EPSS to building a data center facility and developing a suite of applications that is collectively referenced to as RISS (Retail Invoice Settlement System). RISS is designed to provide on-line access to load settlement information, revenue assurance data, providing a stable back office solution for Self-Retailers wanting to take advantage of new opportunities brought about by Alberta’s deregulated electricity industry.
UTILITYnet developed and launched an integrated suite of Web Services to support the needs of it clients in the management and stewardship of their energy portfolios. Billing agent services were provided to a wide cross section of clients in a variety of industries; Oil & Gas, Industrial & Manufacturing, Residential & Property Management, Provincial Educational Institutions & Municipalities, Hotels & Retail Stores and Agricultural & REAs.
Of particular note; ZYNXX was developed and deployed for use by Alberta’s Federation of Rural Electrification Association (AFREA) members, offering MDM plus Retail Member Billing services. At the same time the company invested in three other major ventures:
- In concert with BP, UTILITYnet launched GreenReport, an IT application focused on calculating and monitoring GHG emissions.
- Participated in the launch of SEE Consulting, Bangalore India, an outsourcing IT consulting service company; and
- Launched Alberta’s online Site Catalog. Today this resource is used as the central repository of all electricity and gas metered sites in the province.
The company undertook the re-development of RISS and ZYNXX and invested heavily into the second generation of the base architecture of the system; creating the client interface as an enhanced ‘Web Service’ offering RISS and ZYNXX, evolving into an online Business Intelligence system.
Investment continued with the expansion of the data center and the development of UNETgrid. The UNETgrid is a feature-rich dashboard and KPI application that allows clients to manage the stewardship of their business unit, in aggregate or by cost center. Plus, from a single portal; users can launch any number of business applications ranging from automatically enrolling a site with multiple Wires Providers, generation of Work Orders, management of Hedging Strategies, generation of retail invoices, managing pre-authorized payments, to extracting monthly EPSS electronic consolidated financial files to post directly into the clients GL creating a total integrated Utility & Retail system.
UTILITYnet is a data rich company with a totally integrated system. Our focus continues towards streamlining operational controls as we move forward on the ‘third generation’ of the systems IT architecture the 30th anniversary of the company was marked with the launch of Spot Power. Spot Power is Alberta’s first privately owned boutique retailer of electricity to residential consumers.
UTILITYnet's Spot Power continues to grow focused on helping Self Retailers all over the province set up local community based retail ventures.
UTILITYnet is changing the concept of retailing in Alberta. Within the next twenty four months, it is anticipated that we will be adding 25 new regional retailers from all over Alberta as part of this new model of retailing.