Spokane, Wash., October 28, 2002 — Itron Inc. announced Monday that in the third quarter, it signed an agreement with Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) to expand the implementation of AMR technology in the utility’s service territory.
Under the agreement, Itron will provide hardware, software and meter retrofit services to automate an additional 330,000 gas and electric meters over the next two and a half years, pushing the total implementation to more than 1.1 million meters. BGE serves more than 1.1 million electric customers and more than 600,000 gas customers in Central Maryland.
The announced project expansion represents the continuation of a successful partnership between BGE and Itron. BGE began initial deployments of Itron’s AMR technology in 1994 and to date has 750,000 gas and electric meters fitted with Itron automation technology, which enables meter data to be collected automatically via radio signal.
BGE meter readers now collect meter data simply by driving down the street in a vehicle equipped with a mobile computer, with greater speed and efficiency than the old method of walking a route and manually reading each meter.
“Having seen the benefits of Itron AMR technology first hand for the past eight years, it’s an easy choice to extend those benefits even further,” says Johnny Magwood, vice president of the Customer Services Division at BGE.
“The customer service improvements have been especially dramatic. We no longer have to access customers’ properties or enter their homes, which means we can do our job without intruding on anyone. Itron has been a great partner, making the decision that much easier. In fact, we’ll use Itron technology and services exclusively over the life of the contract.”
Joe Bunch, director of meter services for BGE, cites fewer estimated bills as another important factor in BGE’s decision to continue the automation of its meters. “Our estimated bills have dropped dramatically since the project began, which gives us revenue certainty and makes our customers happier with the service we provide,” says Bunch.
Russ Vanos, vice president and general manager of Itron’s Electric System’s Business Unit, calls the new agreement an opportunity to both appreciate past success and look forward to the future.
“It’s been a pleasure for us to see the operational and customer service improvements BGE has achieved with the help of Itron advanced automation technology,” says Vanos. “But there is a lot left to accomplish, and we couldn’t be happier to be a lasting part of it.”
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 delivers value to its clients by providing solutions for meter data collection, energy information management, commercial and industrial customer care, load management and demand response, transmission and distribution system design software and services, and web-based workforce automation.
BGE is a member of Constellation Energy Group. A Fortune 500 Company based in Baltimore, Constellation Energy Group owns energy related businesses, including a North American wholesale power marketing and merchant generation business that operates in competitive markets across the county, and the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), a regulated energy delivery company in Central Maryland.
BGE provides service to more than 1.1 million electric customers and more than 600,000 natural gas customers in Central Maryland. At year-end 2001, Constellation Energy Group reported revenues of 3.9 billion and assets of $14.1 billion. Itron’s website can be found at www.itron.com