Itron and Philadelphia Suburban Water to Automate 260,000 Water Meters in Philadelphia Suburbs
Largest AMR Deployment By An Investor-Owned Water Utility
Itron, Inc,. has reached
an agreement with href="http://www.suburbanwater.com/Links/Guide.asp?SID=0&szparent=34&SessionID=35519">Philadelphia
Suburban Water Company (PSW) to provide the investor-owned water utility
with technology to automate data collection from 260,000 of its water meters in
the suburbs of Philadelphia.
PSW officials cited fewer estimated bills, lower operating
expenses and improved customer satisfaction as the primary drivers of their
decision to deploy automation technology on a larger scale. When completed, the
project will be the largest automatic meter reading (AMR) system deployed by an
investor-owned water utility in the country and the third largest water meter
automation project in the U.S.
PSW, a subsidiary of Philadelphia Suburban Corp., serves a
total of 1.2 million residents in portions of five counties surrounding the
City of Philadelphia. Once the system is deployed, PSW meter readers will use
vehicles equipped with on-board Itron computers and radio frequency (RF)
transceivers to collect meter data simply by driving past the metered property,
eliminating the need for meter readers to access customer properties.
PSW chose Itron, in part, for its proven track record of
successful AMR projects. "Itron has a reputation for stability,
innovation, and getting the job done," said Nicholas DeBenedictis,
Chairman of Philadelphia Suburban Water Company. "We've had the
opportunity to see first hand the success of their AMR system installed on
water meters in the City of Philadelphia. We feel very good about our new
partnership with Itron."
"Itron's AMR system will be greatly beneficial to us
and our customers," said PSW President Morrison Coulter. "Eliminating
the need to access customers' homes and properties will lead to a less
obtrusive meter reading process for our customers."
The AMR system also will enable PSW to transition from
quarterly to bi-monthly billing. "A shorter billing cycle means our
customers will be able to keep better track of their water usage and pay a
smaller amount on each bill, both of which will be a tremendous help in
budgeting and discovering any water leaks on a more timely basis," said
According to John Hengesh, Vice President and General
manager of Itron's Water and Public Power business unit, PSW is making a
commitment to its customers, its continued financial success, and its present
and future technological needs by embracing AMR technology.
"In today's competitive business environment, utilities
must take proactive steps toward establishing excellent customer service,
increasing operational efficiency, and reducing costs," said Hengesh.
"Itron is extremely pleased and excited to help Philadelphia Suburban
Water Company reach these goals. The rewards will be significant for both the
utility and its customers."