National Water & Power secures investment from DQE Enterprises

National Water & Power, Inc., a provider of utility submetering services and customer information systems software for utilities, announced the closing of a $10 million investment round led by DQE Enterprises, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of DQE Inc.

SANTA ANA, Calif., Jan. 2, 2001 (BUSINESS WIRE)—National Water & Power, Inc., a provider of utility submetering services and customer information systems (CIS) software for utilities, announced the closing of a $10 million investment round led by DQE Enterprises, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of DQE Inc., (NYSE:DQE).

Among ten additional participants in this round are Endeavor Capital Management, Friedman Billings & Ramsey and Kline Hawkes. This round follows an earlier investment in NWP by DQE Enterprises, Inc.

NWP will use the capital raised to enhance the growth of its two core business units, NWP Billing Services and Open-c Solutions. The Billing Services unit installs radio-frequency (RF) submetering systems and provides utility billing and collection services for owners and managers of tenant occupied real estate, thus increasing their operating cash flow. The Open-c Solutions unit, a leader in the $2 billion marketplace for third generation customer information systems (CIS) software for utilities, provides the technology platform for NWP Billing Services.

Robert Sherman, President of the NWP Billing Services unit, said that "the further investment by DQE Enterprises is a strong vote of confidence in our ability to create the leading provider of billing and customer service solutions for real estate owners and utilities— industries affected by the dramatic changes now under way in the water, wastewater, gas and electricity sectors."

Patrick Langan, President of the Open-c Solutions unit, stated that the investment "represents a strong endorsement of the Open-c software solution, both as recently implemented at AquaSource (a DQE water and wastewater utility business) and elsewhere in the utility industry."

Thomas Hurkmans, President of DQE Enterprises, Inc. added: "NWP represents an attractive opportunity to advance DQE Enterprises' approach of developing companies that utilize technology to extend the business reach and profitability of utilities. DQE Enterprises uses its industry knowledge and network to help companies like NWP build successful businesses in and around the deregulating utility industry." DQE Enterprises Inc. will have two representatives on the National Water & Power Board of Directors.

About National Water & Power:

National Water & Power (privately owned) provides a broad range of billing and customer care solutions—from software through to full outsourcing—to both the real estate and utility industries. Headquartered in Santa Ana, CA, the Company has contracts to provide billing and submetering operation services to over 400,000 apartment units in 33 states for some of the country's largest public (REIT) and private property owners. Open-c Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NWP, located in Minneapolis, MN, develops and implements customer information systems (CIS) software for major utilities, energy marketers and billing service bureaus. For more information visit www.nwpco.com and www.open-c.com.

About DQE Enterprises, Inc.
DQE Enterprises is a wholly-owned subsidiary of publicly traded DQE, Inc. (NYSE:DQE). DQE is a growth utility, delivering essential products and related services, including electricity, water, gas and communications, to more than one million customers throughout the United States. DQE combines its extensive utility delivery expertise with leading-edge technology to create greater value for customers and shareholders.

DQE Enterprises invests in businesses that allow utilities and their customers to capitalize on the opportunities emerging from the deregulation of the utility industry. These businesses are developed as independent, stand-alone companies with specialized management teams that pursue compelling market opportunities. DQE Enterprises enhances these businesses in an enriched and supportive environment, in which synergies and linkages with DQE and its affiliates are offered as options to improve business results.

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