Tacoma Public Utilities selects Itron Water Fixed Network for automatic meter reading

Itron has contracted with Tacoma Water, a division of Tacoma Public Utilities, to deploy its Water Fixed Network 2.5 in a pilot project that automates meter reading data collection. The meters will transmit information such as hourly readings, notices of possible leaks or tampering, and meter identification information to Tacoma Water using Tacoma Power's telecommunications network...

SPOKANE, WA, Jan. 8, 2006 -- Itron Inc. announced today a contract with Tacoma Water, a division of Tacoma Public Utilities, to deploy Itron's Water Fixed Network 2.5 in a pilot project that automates meter reading data collection. Tacoma Water expects to begin deploying the system in early 2007.

The deployment will begin by automating 500 meters in an area of South Tacoma. Manual electronic meter reading will continue to be used throughout the project and customer billing will remain unchanged.

"Tacoma Water is exploring the benefits of automatic meter reading to understand how the technology can help us work more efficiently, save money and provide better customer service," said Anthony Lindgren, Tacoma Water's project manager. "It is apparent to us that multiple meter readings can provide us with additional data for use other than billing and we want to investigate those possibilities."

The meters will transmit information such as hourly readings, notices of possible leaks or tampering, and meter identification information to Tacoma Water using Tacoma Power's telecommunications network. Itron's Water Fixed Network enables frequent collection of water consumption information, providing a rich source of data to improve leak detection, support conservation programs and improve customer service by eliminating estimated billing.

Itron has provided Tacoma Public Utilities with meter reading equipment for more than 20 years. As a result, systems that interface with the existing billing system are already in place, eliminating the need to expend resources on developing an interface for the initial deployment.

"Water utilities are looking to reduce water loss, improve leak detection and manage rate structures that encourage conservation," said Lou Gust, vice president of Itron water sales. "We've partnered with Tacoma Public Utilities for many years now—they know us, they trust us and they have confidence in our knowledge and technology."

Tacoma Public Utilities (www.tacomapublicutilities.com) provides competitive, environmentally responsible electric, water and rail services through teamwork, technology and innovation. The utility has been publicly owned since 1893. Tacoma Water, a division of Tacoma Public Utilities, serves 96,000 customers in Tacoma, University Place and portions of Pierce and South King counties.

Itron (www.itron.com) is a leading technology provider and critical source of knowledge to the global energy and water industries. Nearly 3,000 utilities worldwide rely on Itron's award-winning technology to provide the knowledge they require to optimize the delivery and use of energy and water. Itron creates value for its clients by providing industry-leading solutions for electricity metering; meter data collection; energy information management; demand response; load forecasting, analysis and consulting services; distribution system design and optimization; web-based workforce automation; and enterprise and residential energy management.

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Also see: "Itron selected by Detroit for largest Water Fixed Network solution in North America"

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