SAN JOSE, Calif., May 29, 2002 — Echelon Corp. announced recently that it has established a new worldwide group focused on the use of the company’s products by electric utilities and other service providers such as telecommunications companies, cable operators, and Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
Frits Bruggink, formerly Echelon’s senior vice president of marketing and sales, will assume the new role of senior vice president and general manager of Echelon’s service provider group. For the time being, Bea Yormark, Echelon’s president and COO, will add Bruggink’s former responsibilities to her current duties.
“While this market has long been an important one for us, we believe that the opportunities are now significant enough to require a dedicated group solely focused on winning business in this area,” said Ken Oshman, chairman and CEO of Echelon. “I am very pleased that Frits Bruggink has agreed to lead our efforts in this market. Frits was instrumental in winning our contract with Enel and is perhaps among the world’s leading experts in understanding and explaining the compelling business case that metering services and other advanced services represent to utilities and service providers and the ways in which our LonWorks® platform can make these previously unobtainable opportunities economically attractive.”
“While we believe that we offer evolutionary improvements to their business, it is often such a revolutionary leap over previous technologies that it is sometimes difficult for industry veterans to appreciate the complete set of new opportunities we create for them,” said Bruggink.
“As we have demonstrated with our project at Enel, we believe Echelon is uniquely able to deliver a network platform to utilities designed to reliably communicate across the power grid to every customer they serve, to enable a comprehensive set of meter-related services that lowers costs, to improve profitability and quality of service, and to create the opportunity for the delivery of other value-added services to homes and businesses over this same communications infrastructure — all at a cost point that is often well below that of a point-solution automatic meter reading system. I am very excited about the opportunity to work with other service providers around the world in an effort to replicate the success that we and Enel are experiencing in Italy.”
Echelon’s largest project in the utility and service provider market recently is with Enel SpA, the world’s largest publicly traded electric utility. Enel plans to have over 27 million Italian homes and businesses networked by 2004. Enel expects that the LonWorks system, which will provide remote meter reading and connect/disconnects, demand management, and other customer care services at no cost to consumers, will pay for itself in three to four years through cost savings and efficiency. Over 1 million LonWorks enabled electric meters have already been installed in Italy.
At an investor conference earlier this year, Enel indicated that it is on track to reach an installation-rate of 1 million meters per month later this year, at which point Enel’s monthly installations will be larger than the entire customer base of many US utilities.
About Echelon Corp.
Echelon Corp. is the creator of the LonWorks platform, used for connecting everyday devices such as appliances, thermostats, air conditioners, electric meters, and lighting systems to each other and to the Internet.
Echelon’s hardware and software products enable manufacturers and integrators to create smart devices and systems that lower cost, increase convenience, improve service, and enhance productivity, quality, and safety. Thousands of companies have developed and installed more than 18 million LonWorks based devices into homes, buildings, factories, trains, and other systems worldwide.
The protocol underlying LonWorks networks and the signaling used by Echelon’s power line and free topology transceivers have both been adopted as standards by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Echelon is also a founding member of the LonMark® Interoperability Association, an open industry forum of hundreds of leading manufacturers, integrators, and users dedicated to promoting the use of interoperable LonWorks devices.
More information is available at http://www.lonmark.org. Further information regarding Echelon can be found at http://www.echelon.com.