CellNet Data Systems Inc. and Puget Sound Energy Inc. announced a contract under which CellNet will provide network meter reading (NMR) services to approximately 700,000 Puget Sound Energy customers in the Puget Sound area. As a part of the agreement, Puget Sound Energy will provide up to $35 million in financing to fund network deployment. The agreement is subject to satisfactory completion of financing arrangements. Network installation is scheduled to begin in March. The network`s services will also include automatic outage detection, power theft detection, remote switch-on and switch-off and flexible billing.
Consolidated Edison Co., New York, contracted with DocuCorp International to enhance its billing systems. The new system will be more responsive to the demands of a deregulated industry. The document automation platform (DAP) technology generates a variety of billing statement formats and has the ability to support rapid changes in business requirements. DAP technology features electronic archiving that facilitates rapid customer response. It provides special handling capabilities including consolidated, aggregate, pulled, large font and Braille bills.
Itron Inc. announced that it has received a follow-on order from SONTEX S.A., the Swiss distributor of thermal energy meters and heat cost allocators, for the sale of 50,000 Genesis Meter Modules (GMMs). This order doubles the initial order of 50,000 GMMs received from SONTEX in January 1997. The follow-on order will be shipped in 1998. The SONTEX modules were the result of a licensing and distribution agreement between Itron and SONTEX, signed in 1995. SONTEX integrates the modules into their heat meters and heat cost allocators to provide remote meter reading capabilities. SONTEX meters equipped with GMMs are currently being read by Itron`s handheld radio-based AMR solution and are designed to be used with Itron`s fixed network AMR solution as well.
Convergent Group signed a contract with Citizens Utilities Co. as its project manager and systems integrator for full implementation of a geographic information system. Citizens Utilities provides full-service communications, natural gas, electricity and water and wastewater treatment services to 1.75 million customers in 20 states.
Tulsa (Okla.) Metropolitan Utility Board and the Tulsa Authority for the Recovery of Energy have approved a $3.5 million bid from Custima International Corp. to supply a new customer information and billing system, and associated hardware, consulting and maintenance services. Custima will handle water, sewer, stormwater and refuse service billing needs for Tulsa`s 136,000 accounts and population of around 500,000.
HTE Inc. signed an agreement with Montana Power to provide an integrated suite of utility software products and services to help MP compete in a deregulated industry. Part of the services include the capacity to monitor and bill for any type of service. HTE`s customer information system software allows automation of a full range of electric, water and gas utility services including customer and location maintenance; processing of bills, delinquencies, penalties, refunds, and write-offs; and meter reading maintenance.