Unitil Resources Inc. Debuts Internet Energy Procurement Service Usource


Hampton, NH -- March 31, 1999: Unitil Resources, Inc, a subsidiary of Unitil Corporation (AMEX:UTL) in association with North American Power Brokers, Inc. today released Usource, an Internet energy procurement system, available through www.unitil.com.

North American Power created the first World Wide Retail Energy eXchange (REX) on which energy suppliers and retail customers transact business over the Internet. Unitil has recently invested in North American Power and licensed access to the REX through Usource which will enable Unitil Resources’ customers to use the same Internet auction for the purchase of natural gas and electricity over the Internet.

"The benefits Usource provides are powerful and simple. Customers save time and money and eliminate the hassle and risk of procuring energy through traditional RFP’s or in response to individualized marketing pitches," said Todd Black, Unitil Vice President for Sales and Marketing. "While Usource is based on very sophisticated transaction-based technology, it is easy to use, requires only a password and a web browser, and unlike many Internet sites that merely compare prices for standard offers by suppliers, Usource is a live auction in which suppliers make firm bids against firm commitments by customers to buy their electricity and gas through Usource."

Hundreds of business customers currently using the system to buy natural gas have realized 10-19% savings on their energy costs. Customers’ energy needs are posted in advance, initiating a real-time auction process. Participating suppliers then bid to supply energy service without the expense or hassle of direct customer marketing Deals are struck based on the customer’s own choices as to timing, price and terms. The transaction is completed on-line. Customers can begin their next procurement cycle immediately.

North American Power Brokers has facilitated nearly a thousand transactions for the purchase of natural gas, and recently completed the country’s first retail electricity transactions over the Internet. Approximately 50 energy suppliers, including several of the country’s largest, regularly participate in REX auctions.

"This is the way customers will buy their energy needs in the future." commented Robert Schoenberger, Chairman and CEO of Unitil. "Customers can buy energy with a simple, no hassle posting with a need only to review a single bid price from suppliers. In addition, customers have the comfort that Unitil, with its experience and reputation for acquiring natural gas and electricity supply at very competitive prices, is there to ensure everything runs smoothly, so the customers can get on with running their business without having to worry about their energy decisions. "

John Gaus, President and CEO of North American Power comments "We are very pleased to have Unitil deploy Usource to access the Retail Energy Exchange . This is an important step to making the REX the platform of choice for energy transactions."

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 region. Its subsidiaries are Concord Electric Company, Exeter & Hampton Electric Company, Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company, Unitil Power Corp., Unitil Realty Corp., Unitil Resources, Inc. and Unitil Service Corp. North American Power Brokers, Inc. is a privately held company headquartered in Maynard, MA. (www.EnergyAgent.com).

Those interested in becoming a Usource customer can do so on the web at www.unitil.com or by calling Todd Black, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Unitil at 1-888-686-4845.

Todd Black

Corporate Office
Liberty Lane West
Hampton, NH 03842-1720