Record number attend Itron Users' Conference

Over 600 attendees and 300 companies gather for event where Xcell Energy CIO and other industry leaders urge innovation, partnerships as key to success in meeting industry challenges. Peer winners in 2004 Industry Achievement Awards also announced...

BOCA RATON, FL, Oct. 18, 2004 -- Though innovation can be difficult to achieve in the energy and water markets, going back to the basics will not be enough to satisfy either the customer or Wall Street, utility industry leaders told attendees of the 22nd Annual Itron Users' Conference today in Boca Raton, Florida.

More than ever, those in the business of delivering energy and water must forge new kinds of partnerships with each other, the customers they serve, and with the technology providers that help utilities improve the way they run their business and serve their customers. The industry must share knowledge and break boundaries, which is the theme of this year's Itron Users' Conference.

"The potential value of these partnerships cannot be overstated," said Ray Gogel, vice president and chief information officer for Xcel Energy, in his opening remarks to conference attendees. "With our strategic partnerships, we will increase customer satisfaction and we can dramatically increase workflow efficiency. It will take pioneering new relationships with partners, and that is what we are doing at Xcel -- changing how we do business to create transformation."

More than 600 attendees, representing more than 300 energy and water providers throughout North America and from around the world and representing all areas of electric, water and gas industries met this week for the event. The record number of Itron Users' Conference attendees are on hand to network with colleagues, gain knowledge, share ideas and attend educational seminars.

"Over the years, we have all learned that it is one thing to collect data, but another to manage the data that we are collecting, turn it into useful information and then into knowledge," said LeRoy Nosbaum, Itron chairman and CEO, addressing the opening day audience. "We're talking about energy and water resource management. We are partnering with Xcel Energy, among others, to bring innovation to the table.

"In thinking about the future, and partnering with others in the industry, Itron is able to help our customers capture the value from data creation at the meter to data collection, data management and knowledge-based software applications. Those include everything from distribution system monitoring to outage management to revenue assurance, forecasting, energy management, water conservation, customer care and more."

Itron also announced today the 2004 Industry Achievement Award winners, as selected by their peers. The winners are: 2004 Meter Reader of the Year, Stacy Tepfer, Dakota Electric Association (Minnesota); 2004 System Supporter of the Year, Jane Sevedge, Sierra Pacific Power Company (Nevada); 2004 Designer of the Year, Gerald Proteau, Manitoba Hydro/WIRE Services (Manitoba, Canada); and Forecaster of the Year, Peter Exley, ENERGEX (Australia).

In the course of implementing and applying advanced automation technologies for their organizations, each of these award winners has exhibited a strong spirit of innovation, customer service and commitment to excellence.

About Itron
Itron (www.itron.com) is a provider of technology and critical source of knowledge to the global energy and water industries. More than 3,000 utilities worldwide rely on Itron 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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