Peabody, Massachusetts – August 1, 2006 – LODESTAR Corporation announced today that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Energy Services group has successfully implemented and started using LODESTAR software. The Energy Services group at the university recently purchased a license for BillingExpert® with Financial Management Extension™ to bill customers for electric, steam, gas, chilled water and water and sewer services. It also purchased a license for RateExpert® which, with LODESTAR® Energy Information Platform™ (EIP™), conducts rate analysis, rate setting, and rate determination.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) Energy Services determines rates and invoices approximately 1,000 customers who receive up to 6 different utilities. The organization’s previous processes for doing this were complex, time consuming, and costly. Their previous in-house billing system was developed in the mid-1960s and was difficult and expensive to maintain. For rate determination, Energy Services was using Excel® spreadsheet software, making the process time consuming and difficult to re-run.
The implementation of these LODESTAR applications will give UNC-CH the flexibility and scalability to manage their growing customer base more efficiently. Instrumental in achieving this flexibility is LODESTAR® Rules Language™ – the underlying power of LODESTAR applications. This functionality enables users to easily adapt and reconfigure to customer and market evolving requirements. With LODESTAR running on a Microsoft® Windows® operating system platform, the new application can be maintained by minimal support personnel, significantly reducing costs. Additionally, the time it takes to produce invoices and determine rates is significantly reduced, thereby enabling UNC-CH to handle more customers than the 1,000 it currently serves. This will ultimately increase Energy Services’ revenue potential.
UNC-CH is LODESTAR’s first client in the education market. When the search started for software vendors, UNC-CH was looking for a system that included rate determination and analysis, was customizable without any source code modifications, and offered the ability to track and bill for subtractive, reference, and split meters. “We chose LODESTAR® Customer Choice Suite™ (CCS™) out of several billing packages we researched because the product meets our own requirements without requiring modifications to the software, and also because of LODESTAR’s current client base,” said Ray DuBose, Director of UNC Energy.