NERTEC concludes major partnership with U.S. cooperative NRTC

Quebec City, September 10, 2001 — NERTEC Inc., a manufacturer of automated meter readers, is pleased to announce today the conclusion of a major distribution agreement with the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC), the American cooperative of collective purchasing for rural electrical utilities.

The agreement provides NERTEC a substantial competitive edge by ensuring its breakthrough in the US market. Under this agreement, NERTEC’s products will be exclusively marketed by the NRTC to its 1,000 member utilities in 46 American states now serving more than 35 million residential, commercial and industrial customers.

“Quite simply, we chose NERTEC for the quality and variety of its product offerings,” said Stanley Kozlowsky, Senior Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, of the NRTC, while attending the Automated Meter Reading Association (AMRA) international symposium in Quebec City, an event that attracts more than 1,500 industry delegates annually.

One of the primary criteria set by the NRTC was the ability to meet the very diverse needs of its 1,000 utility members. NERTEC satisfied this criterion in brilliant fashion with its product line, the most extensive in the industry. NRTC’s catalogue will now include more than 20 products for all sectors, including residential, commercial and industrial as well as new solutions for water, gas and propane industries.

This agreement should result, in the medium term, in significant new business for the Granby-based company. “For NERTEC, this is a huge step in our business plan. We gain a sales force of some 60 representatives and a rock-solid business credibility,” said Guy Lemieux, President of NERTEC.

This distribution agreement confirms the success of NERTEC’s strategic transition some four years ago, which transformed the company from a simple apparatus manufacturer to a marketer and distributor. Today, the company has a total staff of 35 and is active throughout the US and Canada, with reputable clients such as Hydro-Qu�c, BC Gas, Nova Scotia Power, SaskEnergy, etc.

About NERTEC Inc.:

NERTEC Inc. is an affiliate of NERTEC Design Inc. of Granby, Quebec, Canada. Founded in 1985, NERTEC is a leader in the development, design and manufacturing of automated meter readers. NERTEC provides electric utilities with comprehensive solutions for reading electrical consumption through automated meter readers and related monitoring and management software. NERTEC offers off-the-shelf and custom solutions for electric, gas, water, and propane utilities for residential, commercial, and industrial applications. NERTEC has offices in Quebec, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas and Washington States. For further information, please visit our NERTEC Web site at www.nertec.com

About NRTC:

NRTC, the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative, provides services to some 1,000 member rural utilities serving 35 million customers in 46 States. Its mission consists in providing rural communities across the US the same affordable and ready access to the modern telecommunication services enjoyed by urban residents. NRTC is especially active in telecommunications and the provision of electricity and water to customers. The NRTC Web site can be visited at www.nrtc.org.

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