LONDON (ots) - If European utility operators are feeling pressured of late, it is little wonder. The recent recession has pushed bad debt and bankruptcies among customers higher, cutting into revenues. Energy costs are soaring. And, as the market becomes more open in accordance with EU guidelines, the potential for customers to switch their service to a competitor increases daily.

To counteract these trends, utilities increasingly are focusing on doing a better job at the basics of their business. Initiatives include efforts to:

* Improve collection processes

* Sell bad debt to minimize its impact

* Upgrade service as a means of retaining customers

* Identify new competitive opportunities within the changing regulatory environment

Experts on these topics, and more, are on the programme for "Credit & Collections for European Utilities 2004", taking place on 30 September - 1 October 2004 at Amsterdam's Marriott Hotel.

Scheduled speakers include Charles Beigberger, President of POWEO, France's leading independent electric utility; Jean-Paul Giraud, President of Gaz Electricité de Grenoble; Dr. Josef Bogensperger, Head of Back Office and IT for Verbund, and Allan Asher, Chief Executive of energywatch, the UK's energy watchdog. DG-INFSO will also be represented.

"The event is an opportunity for utility executives to hear all of the latest thinking on credit and collections and customer service from the best in the business, all in one place," said Kathryn Hingston, director of event organiser EyeforEnergy. Delegates also will have the opportunity to interact one-on-one with the presenters and to exchange ideas with peers who are facing similar challenges.

For registration information or to secure a press pass to cover the event, please visit www.eyeforenergy.com; send an e-mail to kathryn@eyeforenergy.com; or call +44 (0) 207 375 7201.

Kathryn Hingston


+44 (0) 20 7375 7201