News Release
Aug. 29, 2000


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – DukeSolutions has begun using online energy auctions to help clients reduce energy and related costs. The company conducted its first Web-based auction Monday, utilizing FreeMarkets, Inc. (NASDAQ: FMKT), the leading business-to-business electronic marketplace, to reduce the cost of natural gas, lower procurement charges and speed up execution of contracts for 20 client facilities in the Midwest.

Numerous natural gas suppliers delivering a majority of service to industrial end-users in this region participated in the online event, competing in real-time for the business auctioned.

"Combine Duke Energy’s e-commerce initiatives including on-line auctions for other products and services with DukeSolutions’ knowledge of the retail energy market and we project significant savings for our clients on the purchase of natural gas and electricity delivered through web-based, reverse auctions," said Keith G. Butler, chief operating officer at DukeSolutions.

"The FreeMarkets B2B eMarketplace has a proven track record of delivering savings to large purchasing organizations around the world," said Max Scoular, director and general manager of energy and process industries at FreeMarkets. "Since 1995, we’ve created more than $1.5 billion in estimated savings for our customers, and we look forward to working with DukeSolutions to deliver results to the clients they serve."

In online energy auctions, DukeSolutions fulfills several roles. The company develops auction "lots" where client facilities are grouped to create optimal savings based on number and quality of suppliers, local rules and regulations, pipelines, electric transmission line constraints, distribution and transmission tariffs, facility loads and market prices. It determines the winning criteria such as "ceiling price," financial stability and conformance with contract terms. DukeSolutions also identifies, screens and attracts suppliers and develops comprehensive request for proposals that represent the customer requirements. Additionally, DukeSolutions will host auctions, providing analysis and feedback throughout and negotiating contracts with winners.

FreeMarkets provides DukeSolutions with access to its full-service eMarketplace, which includes industry-leading technology platform, sourcing information and market-making services. The company also provides independent auditing of the auction process, trains suppliers prior to the auction in the use of its BidWare® software, which facilitates the online bidding process, and monitors and assists suppliers during the auction.

FreeMarkets is the leading B2B eMarketplace. FreeMarkets combines its industry-leading technology platform with unparalleled sourcing information and world-class services to deliver huge savings to customers. FreeMarkets has executed over 5,000 online auctions for more than $7.6 billion worth of goods and services to date, and created estimated savings of nearly $1.5 billion for its customers. The FreeMarkets B2B eMarketplace enables buying organizations to source products from more than 130 supply verticals. More than 5,600 suppliers from over 50 countries have participated in the FreeMarkets B2B eMarketplace. The company also operates FreeMarkets Asset Exchange, the world’s leading B2B eMarketplace for surplus assets and inventory. FreeMarkets can be found on the Web at FreeMarkets is a registered trademark of FreeMarkets, Inc.

DukeSolutions is one of the fastest growing energy services companies in North America. The company helps customers make the most of their assets and increase cash flow and earnings by providing integrated energy solutions that reduce costs and improve energy efficiency. Serving industrial, commercial, institutional and governmental customers, DukeSolutions implements a full range of energy services including energy supply and logistics, reliability and risk management, on-site utility, information management and efficiency and productivity services. DukeSolutions is a wholly owned subsidiary of Duke Energy, one of North America’s premier global energy companies. Additional information about the company is available on the Internet at

Duke Energy, a diversified multinational energy company, creates value for customers and shareholders through an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. Duke Energy manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses -- generating revenues of nearly $22 billion in 1999. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 100 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at:

Contact: Rick Wirth
Phone: 704/373-6611
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
Contact: Karen Kovatch (FreeMarkets)
Phone: 412/297-8767
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333