AMI/smart metering product quality leadership honor for Itron

Philip Mezey,
Senior Vice President,
Chief Operating Officer,
Itron North America
Liberty Lake, WA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — August 13, 2009 – Itron Inc. has been honored with the 2009 Frost & Sullivan Product Quality Leadership of the Year award for its contribution to the North American advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) market, specifically its open architecture, smart metering solution, OpenWay®, the company has announced.

The system addresses major issues facing today’s utilities as they deploy AMI and smart grid including interoperability and security.

“Itron is a market veteran,” said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Vignesh Sundaram. “The growing number of high-profile utilities relying on Itron smart metering technology is a testament to dedication to product quality and responsiveness to customer needs.”

OpenWay was judged in three categories: ability to fulfill utility needs, open standards for future upgrade and compatibility, and enhanced product support and network security.

The solution meets utility AMI and smart grid needs by enabling different pricing options, offering interval data, detecting power outage and restoration, identifying meter tamper, removal and reverse energy flow, and featuring disconnect and reconnect functionality while load limiting. It is also being acknowledged for its built-in communications pathway to the home for data presentation, load control and demand response, ultimately empowering consumers to curtail their energy use.

The system features two-way communication to meters including full Internet protocol (IP) support down to the edge device to support smart grid applications beyond AMI. This is in conjunction with the use of ANSI C12.22 and Zigbee Smart Energy standards, providing a common application layer that is compatible to all networked meters.

In terms of security, the award acknowledges Itron’s work to ensure encryption at the hardware level in OpenWay, as well as making it impossible to decode the metering device’s communications.

Itron’s technology is being deployed with industry-leading utilities including CenterPoint Energy (TX), DTE Energy (MI), San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison (CA).

“We were very thoughtful about how we designed OpenWay. It’s gratifying to be acknowledged for that work by such an authoritative global consulting company,” said Philip Mezey, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Itron North America.