Washington Water Power (WWP) and CheckFree plan to makeInternet-based electronic bill paying an option for WWP’s 350,000residential electric and gas customers. By using CheckFree’s E-Billservice, customers will be able to receive full-color WashingtonWater Power bills at no charge — complete with graphics, logos andfull billing detail — through the World Wide Web. Once they haveenrolled, customers can view and pay their Washington Water Powerbills on line. Washington Water Power, whose primary service areacovers eastern Washington, north Idaho, and central Oregon, plansto rollout CheckFree E-Bill in mid-November.

“Washington Water Power, as a part of its growth initiatives,will provide value-added services for our customers,” said TomMatthews, CEO. “It’s important to give customers convenient optionswhen it comes to receiving and paying their bills.”

WWP commercial and industrial customers can simplify bill payingthrough two unique services. The first is summary billing, aservice that allows customers to combine energy use from multipleaccounts and pay with one check. The other option is ACIS, aproprietary technology offered by Washington Water Power’ssubsidiary Avista Advantage. ACIS consolidates and submits paymentsof monthly utility bills of multiple site customers via theInternet.

While PC-based bill payment is not new, receiving and payingbills electronically through the Web has only recently been madepossible through CheckFree E-Bill. Companies currently makingelectronic bills available to their customers through contractswith CheckFree E-Bill include 26 of the nation’s larger billers andthe nation’s largest statement processor. Combined, these companiesrepresent the potential for more than 400 million consumer andbusiness transactions per month.

Joe Fisher, Houston

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