EPCOR implements Itron's complex billing for retail customers

Itron will deliver its MV-PBS Complex Billing software solution -- which provides automation to complex, labor-intensive billing processes -- to EPCOR Merchant & Capital L.P. (EMC). EMC is a division of EPCOR Utilities Inc., an Alberta, Canada-based utility that's been using the MV-PBS system for the regulated side of its business. Implementation of this package in the EMC business unit distinguishes an important shift for its competitive markets...

SPOKANE, WA, Oct. 21, 2004 -- Itron Inc. announced today a contract with EPCOR Merchant & Capital L.P. to deliver its MV-PBS Complex Billing software solution, providing automation to a complex, labor-intensive billing process.

EPCOR Merchant & Capital L.P. (EMC) is a division of EPCOR Utilities Inc., an Alberta, Canada-based utility, providing energy and energy-related services and products across Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest. EPCOR Utilities Inc. has been using Itron's MV-PBS Complex Billing solution for the regulated side of its business and the implementation of this package in the Merchant & Capital business unit distinguishes an important shift for its competitive markets.

Itron's MV-PBS billing system enables EMC to provide retail customers with flexible, customized billing services and dynamic rate structures. This allows the utility to more effectively deliver innovative services to their customers and minimizes the potential for billing delays or billing errors. Itron's software solutions provide unified data presentment for all data (interval, TOU, monthly or billing) and commodity types on a flexible platform that grows with an increasing number of customers and customer needs.

"We needed a system that was user-friendly and allowed EMC to automate a variety of complex billing processes that were cumbersome and previously done manually," said Robert Brassard, EMC's director of information services.

"Providing integrated access to the most timely and accurate bill and consumption information is an important part of our service across Canada," said Brassard. "We made a careful review of all options available to improve our capabilities, and Itron's solution provided the most cost-effective, flexible and robust solution available."

"We are pleased to help support EMC's goal of providing industry-leading service quality to its customers," said Phillip Mezey, vice president of Itron's Software Solutions group. "EMC's use of Itron's best-in-class Complex Billing solutions will provide access to more accurate and timely billing and consumption information."

MV-PBS supports the complex task of billing demand, energy rates, real-time pricing applications, interruptible rates and gas transportation for commercial and industrial customers. It also supports transmission-related charges and settlement charges such as energy imbalance service, spinning reserve service and supplemental reserve service. The system can also be used to customize bills for national and franchise accounts, and other special accounts. It provides immediate invoice delivery with support for e-mail and Internet delivery.

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 EPCOR
EPCOR Utilities Inc. is one of Canada's top providers of energy and energy-related services and products. Drawing on over 100 years of experience, EPCOR owns and operates power plants, electrical transmission and distribution networks, builds and operates water and wastewater treatment facilities and infrastructure and provides power and water solutions to customers in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and the U.S. Pacific Northwest. With over $4 billion in assets, EPCOR is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta.

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