Series of Pilot Programs Reflects the Success and Savings of Itron’s Fixed Network Capabilities
Itron Inc. announced it has implemented its Fixed Network automatic meter reading (AMR) technology for Newmarket Hydro, Ontario, Canada, with the help of Olameter, an independent meter service company.
Olameter has an agreement with Itron to provide Newmarket Hydro with data collection services using Itron’s Fixed Network radio system. Newmarket, located midway between downtown Toronto and Barrie with a population of 71,000, was interested in advanced metering but wanted to avoid upfront costs and ongoing maintenance fees, and looked to Olameter to provide metering services for a pilot project.
Olameter is reading electricity, gas and water meters using Itron’s Fixed Network for three utilities in the region—the only system of its kind in Ontario to read all three types of meters using one network.
The Olameter/Newmarket deployment is one of five ongoing Itron Fixed Network AMR pilot projects in Ontario, where utilities are studying solutions that will ultimately help the Province conserve energy. The others include Wasaga Distribution, Inc, Hydro Ottawa Limited, Bluewater Power and Toronto Hydro. New requirements expected later this year from the Ontario Energy Board include requiring utilities to collect electricity usage data more frequently, and to offer programs that enable customers to respond to time-sensitive pricing, especially during periods of peak loads.
“Outsourcing reduces the amount of capital we need up front, and reduces our risks,” said Paul Ferguson, president of Newmarket Hydro. “We wanted to have the latest technology in advanced metering and our source provider, Olameter, looked to Itron to meet that need.”
“Utilities are facing growing peak demand, revenue constraints and new regulations—industry leaders are seeking a new, smarter approach to run operations,” said Jan Peeters, CEO of Olameter. “By deploying Itron smart meters in this pilot project, we will be able to demonstrate that Itron’s fixed network solution will support upcoming requirements to collect electricity usage data much more frequently.”
As an industry leader, Itron has developed and deployed a number of hardware and software solutions that enable advanced rate plans to be implemented.
“We are seeing more and more Canadian utilities investigating technology for advanced meter data collection to improve operations and manage growing demands,” said Scott Owen, vice president of hardware sales for Itron Canada. “Our solutions are flexible, low risk and cost effective. We have the experience, trust and knowledge to help Ontario’s utilities operate more efficiently as we have worked with many of them since 1907.”