Itron launches the smart meter

Itron Inc. has released for commercial availability its Sentinel solid-state, electric meter equipped with the SmartSynch GPRS SmartMeter Module, a powerful commercial and industrial meter with adaptable architecture and advanced data collection capabilities...

SPOKANE, WA, Oct. 5, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Itron Inc. has released for commercial availability its Sentinel solid-state, electric meter equipped with the SmartSynch® GPRS SmartMeter Module, a powerful commercial and industrial meter with adaptable architecture and advanced data collection capabilities.

Itron is the exclusive distributor of SmartSynch's SmartMeter System, which enables energy and utility companies to communicate with commercial and industrial electricity meters using wireless communications and the Internet. The technology inside the meter assesses and reacts to a power situation as it happens. This real-time monitoring provides a flow of information that is continuously collected, analyzed and distributed to increase efficiency for utilities and their commercial and industrial customers.

"(This) is the most advanced wireless smart meter in the world," said Stephen Johnston, CEO of SmartSynch. "As part of the SmartMeter line, customers can rely on the Sentinel GPRS to provide the most robust interval and billing data acquisition capabilities. It is a very cost-effective solution for data-intensive applications such as 5-minute interval metering and real-time data collection during load curtailment events."

The end-to-end system functions and features of the Sentinel GPRS SmartMeter include load profile read/energy usage retrieval (retrieves and transmits interval data for up to eight unique energy values); register and billing reads; load profile Near Term Interval Read -- NTIR -- to monitor usage during load curtailment or Real Time Pricing (RTP) premium period events); power outage and power restoration alarms (transmitting a last gasp notification when detecting AC power outage at the metering point); meter diagnostics (and tamper detection) alerts and meter clock monitoring and correction, among other functions.

"The unmatched value of the Sentinel meter combined with the advances of SmartSynch's GPRS solution allows utilities to effectively manage the information requirements of today, while providing the flexibility to meet the challenges of tomorrow with over-the-air configuration changes supported with the TMSTM system software," said Malcolm Unsworth, vice president and general manager for Itron's hardware division. "It is exciting to be one of the first under-the-cover, GPRS-based wireless solutions in the industry and we are proud that SmartSynch selected Itron's Sentinel platform for its GPRS technology.

"In its third year of production, the Sentinel meter has proven to be our most successful polyphase metering platform with AMR communications 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 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.

About SmartSynch
SmartSynch (www.smartsynch.com), an energy technology company based in Jackson, MS, is the leading provider of smart metering solutions to the energy and utility industry. Its core product, the SmartMeter System, enables energy and utility companies to communicate with commercial and industrial electricity meters using wireless communications and the Internet. The SmartMeter System manages the delivery of critical information to any application system, workstation, computer, or browser enabled personal communications device.

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