Utilities company ScottishPower is investing pounds 1m to enable
customers to pay their energy bills via the Internet.
The company, which also owns Manweb, Southern Water and ScottishTelecom,
delivers gas, electricity and water to one in five homes in the UK. It
plans to start operating the customer account service within the next
six to 12 months.
Ian Russell, finance director of ScottishPower, said the Internet would
play a major role in helping the company meet its utility ambitions by
the year 2000. These are to capture 15% of the UK electricity market,
12% of the gas market in its three main operating regions and 10% of the
Scottish telecoms market.
The service will offer Internet billing which will allow customers to
make a single payment for all utility accounts held with
In addition, ScottishPower’s electrical retailing business is setting up
a ’virtual shopfront’.
Russell said: ’We believe the Internet will come into its own over the
next few years.’
Competition between utility companies will heat up this September when
the domestic electricity market is deregulated.