City of Duluth chooses mobile AMR for water and gas


Duluth, MN, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — October 28, 2008 – The largest municipal utility in Minnesota, the City of Duluth, has selected Itron’s mobile automated meter reading (AMR) system for over 53,000 water and gas meters.

The solution will not only reduce the costly process of reading its meters, but also provide the utility with better business data and improved customer service tools.

“We see AMR as more than just meter reading,” said Bernie Zylka, City of Duluth meter services supervisor. “The solution provides many benefits beyond automation, helping us prepare for future growth and technological innovations. It is also a great benefit that the system is able to read both our water and gas meters in a single pass.”

Data gathering, reliability and accuracy will all improve with deployment of the mobile AMR system. Duluth expects the system to reduce its number of monthly re-reads, minimize in-the-field high/low readings, and decrease move-in and -out reads. This should also lessen its application work orders and improve customer service and revenue protection.

Itron mobile AMR systems, key to the ChoiceConnect™ AMR data collection suite, use a vehicle equipped with a portable radio transceiver and computer to gather consumption and tamper data from electricity, gas and water radio-based endpoints.

Approximately 28,500 water endpoints will be automated utilizing Itron’s 60WP Water ERT® Modules. An additional 24,500 natural gas meters will be upgraded with 100G Gas ERT Modules. Installation is slated for completion in April 2009. The contract for the AMR upgrade was awarded to Johnson Controls, working in conjunction with the local Itron distributor, Dakota Supply Group.

The Public Works and Utilities department was created by the City of Duluth in 1999 when the Public Works and Water and Gas departments were merged to increase operational efficiency and reduce costs. The City entered into the utility business in 1898 when it purchased the Duluth Gas and Water Company.