Policy & Regulation

News and analysis concerning energy sector regulatory changes, bills, laws, utility compliance issues and shifts in government structure and policy. Project finance, energy sector surveys and reports on energy market trends, business risks and opportunities, together with information on cross border transmission and distribution is included.

European Utility Awards 2006

The winners of the European Utility Awards 2006 were announced at the official award ceremony during Metering, Billing/CRM Europe 2006.

They are: Business Performance Award: EDF Energy, UK, for its ‘READ. REDUCE.REWARD’ scheme, which is aimed at encouraging consumers to read their own meters and to reduce energy consumption, with rewards offered for doing so.

Customer Excellence Award: Sutton and East Surrey Water, UK, for its introduction of an integrated speech-enabled solution to provide a ‘virtual’ call centre through which customers can pay their bills and conduct other transactions.

CenterPoint Energy selects OpenWay AMI to support intelligent grid

CenterPoint Energy, energy provider to more than three million electric and natural gas customers in the Houston area, is to deploy Itron’s advanced metering and communication technology, OpenWay™, to support its intelligent grid technology, which was deployed on a limited basis earlier this year.

CenterPoint Energy’s deployment of the technology began in November with the installation of 10,000 new OpenWay CENTRON® solid-state electricity meters in selected areas of Houston. In conjunction with Itron and IBM, the provider is investigating five core applications – meter reading, remote connections and disconnections, outage detection, load management and voltage threshold monitoring.

Romania joins REEEP

Romania has become the 33rd country to join the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).

By joining the partnership Romania intends to contribute to the development of regional policies by participating in initiatives across Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans.

The country also looks forward to accelerating the dissemination of renewable energy projects as a means of improving energy security, while lowering greenhouse gas emissions. The Romanian Agency for Energy Conservation (ARCE) will act as the representative for REEEP.

Oracle acquires SPL WorldGroup

Global enterprise software company Oracle, has announced that it has acquired SPL WorldGroup, a provider of revenue and operations management software for the utilities industry and tax management software for government organisations.

SPL delivers best-in-class solutions for customer care and billing, mobile workforce management, outage and distribution management, and asset management that are specifically designed for electric, gas and water utilities.

Powerline-based smart village in Cairo

[img:egypt-flag_0.jpg| ]Cairo, Egypt --- (METERING.COM) --- June 27, 2007 – PLC International and Corinex Communications have won the bid for a powerline based smart village in Cairo, Egypt.. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) chose PLC International Inc. integrating Corinex equipment after two RFP processes and extensive technology evaluation.

Phase one of the project comprises three buildings interconnected over the medium voltage power lines. Selected users will receive Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), video and Internet services.

Call to remove retail price regulation in Australia

[img:australia-flag_0.gif| ]Melbourne, Australia --- (METERING.COM) --- June 26, 2007 – The case for removing retail price regulation for electricity and gas in an openly competitive energy market is compelling and must be acted on quickly, the Energy Supply Association of Australia said today following the release of a report into the effects of retail price regulation on Australian energy markets.

Prepayment meters to be manufactured in Tanzania

[img:Tanesco%20logo_0.jpg| ]Dar es Salaam, Tanzania --- (METERING.COM) --- June 26, 2007 – In the past the prepayment meters used by customers of the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) were manufactured in South Africa – but this will change now that an agreement between the utility and meter manufacturer Conlog has been reached. From now on these meters will be manufactured and serviced in Tanzania, and this will improve Tanesco’s plans for rollout across the country.

Elster acquires Coronis Systems

[img:Jim_McGivern_0.jpg|Jim McGivern,
CEO,
Elster Group
]Raleigh, NC, U.S.A. and Montpellier, France --- (METERING.COM) --- June 25, 2007 – Elster Group, a supplier of high quality integrated metering and utilization solutions, has acquired Coronis Systems, designer and developer of ultra-low-power long-range wireless solutions and platforms for OEMs and integrators, from its management and a group of venture capital shareholders led by Banexi and Axa Private Equity.

Jim McGivern, Elster Group's CEO, says: "Elster sees the acquisition of Coronis Systems as an additional offering to Elster's established position as the global market leader in multi-utility metering solutions. Coronis Systems has an excellent radio frequency-based AMI (advanced meter infrastructure) technology that is especially strong in water and gas utility networks. The Wavenis technology augments Elster Integrated Solutions' (EIS) existing EnergyAxis® AMI solutions and strengthens Elster's position in the global smart metering market. Elster continues to embrace a broad range of technologies to meet our customer's needs and to work with partners to provide interoperable and integrated system solutions."

Laurent Maleysson, Coronis Systems' Co-Founder and General Manager, states: "I am proud that Elster Group sees Coronis Systems and its Wavenis® technology as an important addition to its smart metering infrastructure and two-way communications solutions portfolio. Coronis Systems will continue to pursue its strategy in providing technology to utilities, meter manufacturers and the home automation market and now it has the scale to further develop its position."

Coronis Systems designs and develops ultra-low-power long-range wireless solutions and platforms for value-added resellers (VARs), original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and integrators. Since its inception in 2000, Coronis Systems has become the global leader in ultra-low-power consumption wireless communication technology. With more than 1.2 million devices deployed in small, medium, and large-scale wireless mesh networks around the world, Wavenis technology addresses the specific characteristics and needs of today's smart sensor networks. Wavenis technology is used to build innovative products and applications such as:

New Zealand utility focuses on customer communication

[img:DougHeffernan_0.jpg|Doug Heffernan,
Chief Executive,
Mighty River Power
]Auckland, New Zealand --- (METERING.COM) --- June 25, 2007 – Mercury Energy of New Zealand has announced a range of new initiatives to improve its ability to identify and assist vulnerable customers who are medically dependent or suffer from financial hardship. The utility’s redesigned processes, effective today, follow an extensive review of its customer and credit management systems in the wake of the death of one of the utility’s customers who had been disconnected but who needed power for medical reasons, which the utility was not aware of.

Hydro Ottawa introduces summer savings program for residential customers

[img:Rosemarie%20T.%20Leclair_0.jpg|Rosemarie T. Leclair,
President & CEO,
Hydro Ottawa
]Ottawa, ON, Canada --- (METERING.COM) --- June 25, 2007 – Canadian utility Hydro Ottawa – the second largest municipal electric utility in the province, with 282,000 customers – is introducing a new electricity conservation program this summer that will save customers money, benefit the environment and help to avoid summer electricity shortages. The program has the support of the Ontario Power Authority and recognizes that lowering peak demand for electricity helps reduce the impact of power generation on the environment.

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