Itron's new Water Fixed Network beats expectations in Illinois village

Itron announces a recent fixed network deployment for the Village of Oswego, Ill., is performing well above expectations and the municipality will expand the network in the coming year. The expansion is precipitated by the growth in region...

SPOKANE, WA, Nov. 16, 2004 -- Itron Inc. announced a new deployment of its Water Fixed Network for the Village of Oswego, Ill., is performing well above expectations and the Illinois municipality will expand the network in the coming year.

The Oswego system, purchased from AMCO Water Metering Systems through their local distributor, Water Products, is one of the first in the country to deploy Itron's Water Fixed Network 2.5, a new generation of fixed network technology anchored by a more powerful meter endpoint. Designed specifically to meet the business needs of water utilities, Itron's Water Fixed Network enables water providers to achieve significant improvements in operational efficiency, safety, customer service and resource conservation.

As the meter module batteries from Oswego's original, (non-Itron) drive-by meter reading system fail, Oswego field service workers are replacing the old AMR modules with new Itron Fixed Network endpoints, which are compatible with water meters from all leading manufacturers. In addition to providing a more powerful radio frequency (RF) signal, Itron's new Water Fixed Network endpoints provide a scientifically verified battery life of approximately 20 years, nearly twice as long as other automatic meter reading systems on the market.

"The deployment is working very well, exceeding our expectations," said Jerry Weaver, director of Oswego Public Works. "It's only been a few months, and we've realized a substantial savings. The ability to program each endpoint to match the specific meters we already have is tremendously important, especially when you have a population of mixed water meters like we do."

Weaver said Oswego is also very pleased with the performance of the fixed network, with 300 endpoints already deployed. With two network collectors installed�one on each end of town�Oswego had expected to successfully read water meters within a three-mile radius of each collector. The actual results have greatly exceeded that expectation, since each collector reads meters between five and six miles away. The superior performance of the network has enabled Itron to deliver a very cost-effective solution to Oswego by minimizing the number of network collectors required to achieve reliable coverage.

The Itron Fixed Network will help Oswego successfully manage customer growth while holding the line on costs. The population of Oswego is just over 10,000 people, and is growing at a rate of 800 to 1,000 people each year. Currently, two meter readers collect the data for billing residential and commercial customers. When Itron's new Fixed Network system is fully deployed, those meter readers will be freed up for other tasks. If a re-read is needed on a meter, a billing clerk can do it from the office, thus saving money, wear and tear on equipment, and the cost of gasoline.

"With the performance and the positive economics we've seen to date, as far as we're concerned, every new home will receive an Itron system," added Weaver.

John Hengesh, vice president and general manager of Itron's Water and Public Power Group, said Itron's new generation of fixed network technology is setting a new standard for network costs and performance.

"Itron is leading the industry by delivering fixed network solutions that work for small municipalities, large utilities and everyone in between," Hengesh said. "By providing our customers with an optimal balance of fixed network performance and cost, we're helping them meet critical business objectives in a very cost-effective manner with minimal risk. The Village of Oswego has shown great vision and leadership in deploying this technology."

About Itron
Itron (www.itron.com) is a leading technology provider and critical source of knowledge to the global energy and water industries. More than 3,000 utilities worldwide rely on its technology to provide the knowledge they require to optimize the delivery and use of energy and water. The company 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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