October 1, 2008

Apogee Interactive Presents ACE Awards to Energy Utilities for Best Practices on the Web

Apogee Interactive, the leader in online solutions for the energy industry, has recognized 11 utilities for best practices in Web-based customer service and energy efficiency programs at its 15th annual conference.

The software company presented its "Apogee Customer Excellence Awards" on Sept. 30, the opening day of its conference that runs through Oct. 2. Close to 100 electric and gas utility professionals are in attendance to explore new trends in online energy efficiency messaging and Web self service.

Apogee's conference opened with presentations from J.D. Power and Associates on its 2008 utility customer satisfaction study; the Edison Electric Institute regarding current electric energy infrastructure; E Source's Bill LeBlanc with insights on energy awareness and social marketing; and nationally recognized energy efficiency strategist Joel Gilbert, P.E. and chief software architect for Apogee, on the use of home area networking technology to drive home behavioral changes in residential energy use.

In 2006, Apogee established its ACE Awards program to recognize Excellence in Customer Service, Best in Web Activity, Most Creative Marketing, Outstanding Conservation and Stewardship, and Web Innovation among its more than 400 utility clients.

"We are in the unique position of implementing utility Web strategies and witnessing what customers are valuing," explains Susan Gilbert, Apogee president and chief executive officer. "That's what prompted us to recognize high achieving utilities that have gone above and beyond to create unique offerings and deliver more value to their customers."

Recognized for Excellence in Customer Service this year was the Energy Trust of Oregon for its rollout of customized home energy calculators for each of its four utility companies; Sacramento Municipal Utility District for its launch of a full series of residential and commercial energy applications; and LCEC for outstanding usage of a new bill analysis program in its call center.

Winners for Most Creative Marketing include Minnesota Power for its new energy efficiency microsite named Power of One and Pioneer Electric Cooperative in Kansas for a fresh approach to the redesign and functionality of its website.

Apogee's ACE awards for Outstanding Conservation and Stewardship goes to Marietta Power and Water for its Web-based water saving calculators and tips that help customers combat the area's drought, and to PECO for implementation of seven laser-focused energy calculators that help customers zero in on ways to save regarding appliances, TVs, paperless billing, setback thermostats and more.

El Paso Electric took top honors for Best Web Activity by achieving the highest usage of its Web energy applications in proportion to its customer base. Lane-Scott Electric Cooperative earned an ACE award for most improved website.

The final category of ACE Awards recognizes forward thinking energy organizations that consistently advance online applications and Web tools to better serve customers. Recipients of the Innovation award are Washington Gas Energy Services and Xcel Energy.

About Apogee Interactive Inc.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Apogee is a leading provider of online energy analysis applications for the utility industry. More than 400 investor-owned, cooperative and public power systems currently use Apogee's energy-use analysis tools, call center programs and Web content modules. The company's customers include utilities such as Southern Company Services (NYSE: SO), American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), Entergy (NYSE: ETR), FPL (NYSE: FPL), Westar Energy (NYSE: WR), CPS Energy, TVA, and Jackson EMC.