News Releases

EPRI Product Champion Award

Jun 2, 1998

Sierra Pacific Power Company
Contact: Karl Walquist/Robert Sagan
Phone: 775.834.4345

For Immediate Release


Sierra Pacific Power Co. has received an award from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the science and technology organization for the utility industry, for helping initiate the development of new computer applications for electric utilities.

"Sierra Pacific was the catalyst in a coordinated effort to develop more sophisticated billing solutions for energy companies," according to EPRI Project Manager David Cain."Their information technology experts recognized that current billing systems are inadequate for a deregulated electric utility industry and wanted to work with a group of utilities to prepare a comprehensive set of billing specifications that represented a radical departure from traditional utility billing capabilities and practices."

Because of their efforts, the Sierra Pacific information technology team is receiving the EPRI Product Champion Award, which recognizes efforts to promote new technologies, Cain said. Members of the Sierra Pacific team include Customer Contact Director Carol Elmore and Suzann Sceirine, computer applications supervisor.

"Sierra Pacific worked with EPRI to develop billing specifications which address many of the advanced billing models that are essential for a deregulated energy business," Cain said."This effort was used by Sierra Pacific in its systems planning for deregulation in California but was pivotal in catalyzing EPRI's efforts to develop advanced billing solutions for the utility industry at large."

The Reno-based electric, natural gas and water utility launched three projects which were influenced by the EPRI study:· Electric bills sent to Sierra Pacific's 42,000 California customers are being"unbundled" to show the breakdown of costs for specific utility services, such as electric generation and distribution, in order for the company to comply with California's new electric utility deregulation law.

· The company initiated a project to create a new Major Customer Intelligence System to provide state-of-the-art billing capabilities for major electric customers.

· Sierra Pacific launched a Customer Management Reengineering project that will serve as the design model for the way the company will do business in a competitive environment.

"These projects will benefit all our customers in California as well as in Nevada," said Victor Peña, vice president of Technology, Information Services and Business Development for Sierra Pacific."They will have much more information so they can easily make choices for utility products and services once the industry has been restructured."

Other utilities participating in EPRI's Advanced Billing Study Group included Consolidated Edison and the Omaha Public Power District.