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UsourceTM to Deploy DatapultSM Load Profile Metering and Energy Information Services

Hampton, NH – February 21, 2000: Unitil Corporation (AMEX: UTL) ( today announced it has signed an Agreement with AEP Communications, LLC, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, Inc. (NYSE: AEP), for deployment of DatapultSM ( load profile metering and energy information services through the Usource Internet based energy marketplace.

Usource, an Internet based energy procurement system serving large commercial and industrial customers, was launched less than one year ago and is gaining increased customer acceptance throughout the Northeast. Usource employs the award winning Exchange developed by of Maynard, MA ( Unlike many Internet sites that merely compare prices for standard offers by suppliers, Usource utilizes the Exchange as a live marketplace in which suppliers make firm bids against commitments by customers to buy their electricity and gas.

Under the agreement with AEP Communications, Unitil will offer the Datapult Information Sensor, an accurate, 15 minute load profile device, and Datapult Central, its secure Internet data warehouse, to Usource customers. The Datapult products and services provide for the accurate and cost effective tracking of a customer’s electricity consumption. The data is collected for analysis, providing customers with a powerful load and cost management tool. Through Usource, the load profile data will also be used for bidding customer load requirements to suppliers, thereby significantly increasing the accuracy of posted loads and improving the price which competitive suppliers will be able to offer.

"This is an exciting next step in the expansion of Usource functionality for our customers. Datapult’s accurate and cost effective monitoring device as well as its scalable Internet-based application is ground-breaking in that it will allow competitive suppliers to access a customer’s load profile information for the first time, while giving our customers a state-of-the-art load and cost management tool," said Unitil CEO, Bob Schoenberger. "Our partnership with AEP Communications takes Usource to the next level by bringing together load profile energy data and management tools, allowing Usource to better serve our customers by helping them effectively manage their energy purchases."

Peter R. Thomas, vice president - AEP Communications, stated "Usource is an important new channel for our metering and energy information services product line, one which is ideally suited to 21st century markets and customer requirements. This relationship strengthens the value of our product line, as customers will be better equipped to manage their energy purchasing decisions. We look forward to working with Unitil as we bring these enhanced services and technology to the Usource customers."

Unitil is a public utility holding company with subsidiaries providing electric service in New Hampshire, electric and gas service in Massachusetts, and energy services throughout the Northeast. The Usource product line is operated by its subsidiary Unitil Resources, Inc., and is available at Unitil’s other subsidiaries include Concord Electric Company, Exeter & Hampton Electric Company, Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company, Unitil Power Corp., Unitil Realty Corp. and Unitil Service Corp.

AEP Communications, LLC, was formed in 1997 to provide fiber, wireless and information services to wholesale and retail customers. The company has built high-speed fiber optic lines and wireless antenna structures, and has invested in providers of digital personal communications services. The complete Datapult portfolio of energy information services includes Datapult Information Source, Datapult Central, Datapult Analysis and Datapult Notification and Datapult Billing Services.

AEP, a global energy company, is one of the United States' largest investor-owned utilities, providing energy to 3 million customers in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. AEP has holdings in the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Australia. Wholly owned subsidiaries provide power engineering, energy consulting and energy management services around the world. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio. On Dec. 22, 1997, AEP announced a definitive merger agreement for a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction with Central and South West Corp., a public utility holding company based in Dallas.

News releases and other information about AEP can be found on the World Wide Web at Additional information about Datapult can be found at

George Gantz

Corporate Office
Liberty Lane West
Hampton, NH 03842-1720