City of Houston extends contract with Itron for water AMR system

Itron Inc. announced Thursday a contract extension with the City of Houston to continue installing AMR technology throughout the city to automate data collection from 100 percent of its water meters.

Oct 2nd, 2003


SPOKANE, WA, Oct. 2, 2003 -- Itron Inc. announced Thursday a contract extension with the City of Houston to continue installing Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) technology throughout the city to automate data collection from 100 percent of its water meters.

Since the first contract, signed in December of 1998, Itron has installed 326,462 ERT radio-based water meter modules out of 444,000 total accounts--or about 74 percent. More than 120,000 automated meters will be installed in the coming year. The total cost of the project is about $42 million.

The AMR program is saving the City of Houston money and water through improved meter reading and billing accuracy, increased operational efficiency and improvements in customer service, said Karen Philippi, Senior Assistant Director for Houston Public Works and Engineering.

"Our savings are significant--that's the reason why the city gave us additional money to continue automation," said Philippi. "The amount of water we pump and deliver is way down, but our revenue has stayed the same due to improved measurement accuracy. We estimate we saved about $10 million in the last year or so by pumping less water. Those are significant results so far and we anticipate continued benefits and savings."

Three projects are ongoing with automating water meters in Houston: changing out the meters, installing AMR and replacing meter boxes. The city's goal is to be fully automated by the end of 2004. Utility officials recognize that completion of automation may be dependent on the economy, although independent auditors have urged the city to accelerate and complete the program in order to realize the full benefits sooner.

John Hengesh, Itron's Vice President & General Manager for Water & Public Power Systems, said the relationship between Itron and the City of Houston is long-standing and first-rate.

"The order for the final expansion of the AMR system was made possible by the successful partnership between the City of Houston, Itron and Badger Meter, Inc. and what we've achieved thus far," Hengesh said. "The continued positive financial, operational and customer benefits of the City of Houston system are a showcase to cities and the utility industry nationwide."

Once Houston completes automation, it will become one of the largest cities in the United States to fully automate meter data collection.

About Itron

Itron is a technology provider and critical source of knowledge to the global energy and water industries. More than 2,800 utilities worldwide rely on Itron technology to deliver the knowledge they require to optimize the delivery and use of energy and water. Itron delivers value to its clients by providing industry-leading solutions for meter data collection, energy information management, demand side management and response; load forecasting, analysis and consulting services, transmission and distribution system design and optimization, Web-based workforce automation, commercial and industrial customer care and residential energy management.

To know more, start here: www.itron.com.

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