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15 Energy Companies Form Consortium for E-Procurement Exchange

DALLAS, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- A consortium of 15 leading U.S. electric and gas companies plans to launch an Internet marketplace for the purchase of goods and services between the energy industry and its suppliers this year.

The 15 companies include American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), Cinergy (NYSE: CIN), Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE: ED), Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), Edison International (NYSE: EIX), Entergy (NYSE: ETR), FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), FPL Group (NYSE: FPL), PG&E Corp. (NYSE: PCG), Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE: PEG), Reliant Energy (NYSE: REI), Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), Southern Company (NYSE: SO), TXU (NYSE: TXU) and Unicom (NYSE: UCM).

The business-to-business exchange will operate as a single global portal for purchasing anything from transformers and wire to turbines and equipment repairs. The for-profit exchange will be open for use by any company in the energy/utility industry.

By building an online marketplace, the consortium expects to generate significant benefits for purchasers and suppliers alike by streamlining purchasing processes, shortening purchase cycles and increasing accessibility between buyers and sellers. According to Forrester Research, utilities are the third largest industry in terms of total online business trade.

The consortium expects to establish an independent company by June to operate the exchange, initially owned by the founding companies.

Initial services will include online proposals, price quotes and auctions. The exchange will be designed to encourage open participation. The strong commitment of the companies to supplier diversity will continue. Open, low- cost access to e-commerce is expected to benefit small and historically underutilized suppliers through increased market reach and efficiency.

The management-consulting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers has been selected to assist in the development of the exchange and the selection of the technology provider.

For further information, contact:

AEP-Pat Hemlepp, 614-223-1620

Cinergy-Steve Brash, 513-287-2226

ConEd-Mary McCartney, 212-460-4111

Duke Energy-Danny Gibbs, 704-373-6680

Edison Int'l-Diane Wittenberg, 626-302-3312

Entergy-Betsy Shearron, 504-576-2042

FPL-Media Relations, 305-552-3888

FirstEnergy-Kristen Baird, 330-761-4261

PG&E Corp.-Greg Pruett, 800-743-6397

PSEG-Paul Rosengren, 973-430-5911

Reliant Energy-Sandy Fruhman, 713-207-3123

Sempra Energy-Ed Van Herik, 877-866-2066

Southern Company-Laura Gillig, 404-506-0570

TXU-Sandy Smith, 214-812-5977

Unicom-Jennifer Gordon, 312-394-2836 SOURCE American Electric Power; Cinergy; Consolidated Edison, Inc.; Duke

        Energy; Edison International; Entergy; FirstEnergy Corp.; FPL Group;
        PG&E Corp.; Public Service Enterprise Group; Reliant Energy; Sempra
        Energy; Southern Company; TXU; Unicom

CONTACT: Pat Hemlepp of American Electric Power, 614-223-1620; or Steve Brash of Cinergy, 513-287-2226; or Mary McCartney of Consolidated Edison, Inc., 212-460-4111; or Danny Gibbs of Duke Energy, 704-373-6680; or Diane Wittenberg of Edison International, 626-302-3312; or Betsy Shearron of Entergy, 504-576-2042; or Media Relations of FPL Group, 305-552-3888; or Kristen Baird of FirstEnergy Corp., 330-761-4261; or Greg Pruett of PG&E Corp., 800-743-6397; or Paul Rosengren of Public Service Enterprise Group, 973-430-5911; or Sandy Fruhman of Reliant Energy, 713-207-3123; or Ed Van Herik of Sempra Energy, 877-866-2066; or Laura Gillig of Southern Company, 404-506-0570; or Sandy Smith of TXU, 214-812-5977; or Jennifer Gordon of

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