Washington, June 22, 2000 – Cap Gemini Ernst & Young U.S. LLC, one of the leading e-business strategy consultants, together with Professor Venkatesh (Venky) Shankar of the R.H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, released their top-line findings from a recent in-depth study, targeting a select group of electric and gas companies in the U.S., including key industry leaders. The study found that, overall, the electric and gas industry is lagging behind others, despite the fact that the industry as a whole views e-business as being of paramount importance and fundamental to future growth – potentially changing business models.

"The findings from the study show that electric and gas companies all agree that e-business is critical in order to compete in today's marketplace. However, they are still uncertain as to the dollar value that e-business will bring to their operations," said Tom Brunetto, vice president of CGE&Y. "It's a question of efficiency and cost-cutting versus increasing demand and growth of serviceable accounts."

Despite this remarkably consistent view of the importance of e-business, most electric and gas companies feel that e-business has brought only a minor change to their business models. In most cases, the companies interviewed said that they have spent less on e-business than expected. They also perceive their e-business capability to be less than adequate, and generally they are not satisfied with their progress with e-business initiatives.

For more information about the study, please visit www.capgemini.com/utilities.

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