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2010-06-18 digital edition

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2010-06-18 / General Stories

Bluebonnet Launches Net Energy Market

New Web Features Empower Members to Manage Their Energy Use

Bastrop - Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative’s members now have a powerful, new online tool to manage their energy use and potentially lower their electric bill. The new online features are available through Bluebonnet’s website, the Net Energy Market, at bluebonnetelectric.coop.

“We believe our members have a fundamental right to know on a daily basis how much electricity they are using and what it costs,” said Mark Rose, Bluebonnet’s chief executive officer. “For the first time, our members will be able to see and actively manage their electric use, and potentially lower their bill.”

To use the Net Energy Market, Bluebonnet members can go to bluebonnetelectric.coop to create a secure, personal username and password. Once logged in, members will see display with their current bill, what their bill is projected to be, how their current use compares to the previous month and their environmental impact. They can also see this information on a daily basis for each billing period, initially going back three months, but eventually going back up to13 months.

“Bluebonnet is the first utility in Texas, and perhaps the United States, to provide its members with their energy use information that has been validated and verified for accuracy through advanced computer systems that are the foundation for the Smart Grid,” said Matt Bentke, Bluebonnet’s chief operating officer. “Our members can be confident that the information they see on the Web is up-todate and reliable.”

A key feature of the Net Energy Market is the ability for members to receive text messages, emails or phone alerts when their electric use exceeds a dollar amount they established in their account profile.

“By receiving these alerts our members will no longer be surprised by a big bill they didn’t know was coming and couldn’t control,” Rose said.

Bluebonnet members also will be able to receive paperless bills, pay bills online and get tips on how to cut energy costs, be more energy efficient and reduce their environmental impact. Members who are already signed up for Bluebonnet’s electronic bill pay and paperless billing can use the same username and password to log in to the Net Energy Market.

Bluebonnet partnered with Siemens and eMeter to deploy the Net Energy Market. Bluebonnet is the first utility in the United States to provide all its consumers this powerful information through eMeter’s Web product.

“We are proud to have partnered with industry leaders Siemens and eMeter to provide our members with the ability to know how much energy they are using and control their monthly bill,” Rose said. “We will continue to work to improve the Net Energy Market for our members.”

One feature that will be added to Bluebonnet’s Net Energy Market in the future is a smart phone application that will give members full access to their account information from mobile devices. Weather information, trends and forecasts also will be incorporated to show how temperatures affect energy use.

Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves 80,000 meters and owns and maintains 11,000 miles of power lines, located across more than 3,800 square miles within 14 Central Texas counties. Bluebonnet’s service area stretches from Travis County to Washington County and from Milam County down to Gonzales County.

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