Friday, March 27, 2009

95% of Utility Bills Still Sent Through Mail

Posted by Mark Brousseau

Utilities continue to incur high costs due to distributing 95 percent of their bills through the mail, according to Chartwell's survey of 94 utilities. Bills sent through the mail are more expensive than bills delivered electronically.

Some utilities have seen success in decreasing the percent of customers receiving paper bills. One utility with more than 300,000 customers enrolled about 20 percent of its customers in paperless billing through promotions on almost all of the material produced by the utility. This utility also incentivized employees to enroll customers. Another utility company, Arizona Public Service, donated $1 to the Tree Research and Educational Endowment every time one of their customers signed up for paperless billing over a three month time span. Arizona Public Service was able to switch almost 17,000 customers from high-cost paper bills to low-cost electronic bills.

While consumer marketing has been successful in decreasing paper bills mailed out, many utilities are looking to cut costs by delivering bills through secure email. In an effort to reduce the costs of distributing bills, 40 percent of utilities are planning to offer or are considering delivering bills through secure email, Chartwell says.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I continue to be amazed at the slow adoption rate of e-statements in all sectors; banking, utilities, credit cards etc. Are their any stats on the costs to produce a paper statement vs. sending one electronically?