DATAMATIC.COM TO PROVIDE TEMPE, ARIZONA WITH AUTOMATED METER READING SYSTEM RICHARDSON, TEXAS - May 18, 2000 � BUSINESS WIRE - Datamatic.com announced today that The City of Tempe, Arizona has ordered an additional 8,000 FIREFLY� automatic meter reading (AMR) devices to expand the System�s implementation throughout their 40,000 commercial and residential meters.
The acquisition of additional FIREFLY units, which transmit reading information to mobile receivers, was based on projections of cost savings, safety improvements and first-hand experience with the System since last year. Assistant Superintendent John Mann said, "FIREFLY is a great fit for the City of Tempe because it addresses a variety of operational issues, not just a select few. This is the most effective way for us to reduce the costs of meter reading, of metering and of handling billing complaints."
FIREFLY units use a unique optical sensor that affixes to a meter face, making it easier and less expensive to install. "FIREFLY installs in a matter of minutes. We�ve been very impressed with the product�s ability to automate a wide variety of meters. Flexibility to automate �any� meter saves us a good deal of money. Other AMR solutions we looked at required new meters or registers, and we couldn�t justify that", concluded Mr. Mann.
Tempe was equally impressed by the System�s unique profiling chip that stores a customer�s usage history. That information can be retrieved to investigate a variety of issues. "Billing complaints require a lot of attention", says Customer Service Manager, Cal Nelson. "Now, we�re able to review consumption patterns down to a specific hourly period. That makes it easier to investigate and resolve irregular situations."
"Now, all of our meter readers are equipped with the technology to read FIREFLY-enabled meters without lifting lids or climbing down into vaults. Meter Reading in Arizona�s weather is hard work, and FIREFLY will make it that much easier", concluded Ms. Nelson.
The City will also be implementing Datamatic.com�s new ROADRUNNER� Mobile, a high-speed drive-by solution. "The City of Tempe is a perfect example of a utility looking toward the future", says Datamatic.com Senior Vice President, Andy Kercher. "They know that consumers will require better and better service at the lowest possible cost, and they�re doing something about it."
Datamatic specializes in open-architectured utility data collection solutions. In the utility industry since 1977, Datamatic developed the first handheld-based meter reading system, and it was the first to offer utilities an off-the-shelf meter reading application. In addition to the FIREFLY AMR System, Datamatic.com solutions include RouteSTAR MVP, a client-server meter reading application and FieldSTAR, a field service work order automation system.
SPOKANE, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 3, 2000--Itron Inc. (Nasdaq:ITRI) announced today that Denver Water, the largest municipal utility in the state of Colorado, has signed a contract to implement Itron automatic meter reading (AMR) technology for 220,000 residential and commercial meters in the Denver metropolitan area.
Denver Water provides drinking water services to more than 1 million people in Denver and its surrounding suburbs, and this project represents the largest AMR water project in the western United States. Itron was selected as the sole source AMR technology provider for Denver Water's installation through Itron's distributor, Mountain States Pipe and Supply Company, which has offices in Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.
Operational cost savings, improved customer service and preparation for the future were the key drivers in Denver Water's decision to deploy Itron AMR technology, said Charlie Jordan, director of public affairs for Denver Water.
"We anticipate that Itron's AMR technology will deliver significant operational cost savings over the next decade and beyond, enable Denver Water to deliver superior service to our growing customer base, and help us keep water rates as low as possible," said Jordan. "The Itron system will also enable us to eventually transition to monthly billing, which will spare our customers the budgetary drain of larger, bi-monthly water bills."
"We're tremendously pleased that Denver Water has selected Itron as its technology partner on this important project," said LeRoy Nosbaum, president and CEO of Itron. "The Denver area is already home to the largest electric and gas AMR installation in the world, an Itron AMR system covering some 1.5 million meters at New Century Energy. We look forward to expanding our presence there by serving Denver Water and its one million customers."
Denver Water's AMR system will consist of Itron AMR meter modules installed on all of the utility's water meters. The data will be collected using Itron's Mobile AMR technology. Denver Water will also test Itron's MicroNetwork(TM) system for potential use in hard-to-access residential areas and commercial corridors.
Installation of the system will begin in June and will be completed over a five-year period. This timeline will enable Denver Water to trim gradually its meter reading staff from a current level of 35 full-time meter readers to two through attrition and reassignment, Jordan said.
The project marks the second major installation of Itron's water AMR meter modules designed for the harsh "pit-set" meter environment. Situated in difficult-to-access, below-ground pits or vaults, pit-set water meters represent a continual meter reading challenge to water utilities, especially those in the west, where pit-set water meters are the norm. Some 80 percent of Denver Water's meters are located in pits; the remainder are located indoors in customer basements.
"Beyond the operational costs savings and customer service improvements it will achieve with AMR technology, Denver Water also wanted flexibility and choice in its metering decisions," said Andrew Alpert, vice president and general manger of Itron's Water and Public Power Business Unit. "With Itron's open-architecture AMR solutions and industry-leading meter compatibility, Denver Water has the freedom to choose its meter suppliers based on performance, price and objectives, rather than on AMR system compatibility."