AMR deployment will automate 225,000 gas meters in Southern Idaho

SPOKANE, WA, May 22, 2002 – Itron Inc. announced recently that it has reached an agreement with Intermountain Gas Co. to provide the utility with technology to automate data collection for over 225,000 gas meters in Southern Idaho. The implementation is scheduled to take approximately one year.

Intermountain officials cited lower operating expenses and improved customer service as the primary drivers of their decision to deploy automation technology on a large scale. Intermountain serves over 225,000 customers in Southern Idaho, including residents in parts of Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Pocatello, Boise, Nampa, and Caldwell.

Once the Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) system is deployed, Intermountain meter readers will use vehicles equipped with Itron computers and radio frequency (RF) transceivers to collect meter data simply by driving past the metered property, eliminating the need for meter readers to access customer properties.

“We’re always looking for ways to increase operational efficiency and, in the process, reduce our costs, and that is exactly what this Itron system will allow us to do,” said Paul Powell, senior vice president of finance and administration for Intermountain.

“Additionally with fenced-in and other difficult-to-access properties, this technology will lead to a less obtrusive meter reading process and greater customer satisfaction.” Intermountain has prior experience with Itron AMR technology, having already automated approximately 3,000 meters in an area prone to large amounts of snowfall, which makes reading meters manually quite difficult during the winter.

“This initial success illustrated the potential benefits of Itron’s proven technology for us and our customers,” said Powell. John Hengesh, vice president and general manager of Itron’s Natural Gas Business Unit, said Intermountain is making a commitment to its future success by adopting AMR technology.

“We are pleased that Intermountain Gas Company is taking proactive steps toward improving customer service, increasing operational efficiency, and reducing costs,” said Hengesh. “Itron is thrilled to be a part of Intermountain’s effort to reach these goals. The utility and its customers will reap the rewards for years to come.”

Itron is a technology provider and critical source of knowledge to the global energy and water industries. More than 2,000 utilities worldwide rely on Itron technology to deliver the knowledge they require to optimize the delivery and use of energy and water.

Itron clients use this knowledge to run their businesses more efficiently, reliably and profitably, to strengthen connectivity to their customers, and to meet the new business requirements of deregulated energy markets.

Itron’s solution portfolio includes automatic meter reading systems to meet the requirements of all customer classes and service environments; web-enabled workforce management solutions; as well as transmission and distribution system design solutions and services.

Itron also provides advanced software solutions and consulting services for collection, analysis and application of load profile data, including enterprise-wide data access, data warehousing, load research, complex billing and settlement, and web-based data access and exchange. To know more, start here:

Itron’s website can be found at

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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