gas metering
Global energy technology company Itron this week announced that it secured a AMI contract with US gas utility Questar Gas.

Under the contract, the Itron will upgrade utility’s automated gas metering system.

In a press statement, the technology company said it will install 650,000 gas communication modules to enhance Questar Gas’ operations and better service to some 1m customers in the US state of Utah, south western Wyoming and south eastern Idaho.

Commenting on the development, Craig Wagstaff, president of Questar Gas said the deal will “further improve our operations, reduce labor costs and pass the savings on to our customers.”

Itron claims its technology will enable the utility to continue collecting meter reads remotely with mobile data collection technology, streamlining meter reading and improving billing accuracy and reliability.

Smart gas metering in the US

In late February, Vectren, a major natural gas and electricity distributor for the state of Indiana, also commissioned Itron to supply an advanced metering solution.

[quote]Under the terms of the deal, Vectren said it will use Itron’s technology to automate 780,000 gas meters by 2017 in a bid to streamline operations and improve customer service.

The Itron data collection system will allow Vectren to reduce the number of manual meter reads by utility personnel, allowing for drive-by data collection.

Vectren distributes electricity and natural gas to business and residential customers in over two thirds of the state of Indiana. The energy holding company has already installed more than 150,000 gas communication modules in its Indiana and Ohio service territories.

Gas metering communications

Meanwhile, in Italy, Gas metering solutions provider Pietro Fiorentini last week announced that it partnered with Swiss wireless semiconductor developer u-Blox.

Under the partnership, the companies launched a new automated communications platform for residential and industrial gas meters.

In a press statement, Pietro Cerami, Marketing Director at Pietro Fiorentini said: “We needed a high quality and reliable smart technology for critical gas telemetry in residential and industrial areas.”

The two companies claim the launched SARA-G350 ideal for installation on metering points where power efficiency and product robustness and reliability is crucial, is ATEX certified.

The ATEX certification consists of two EU directives analysing product’s reliability and safety for installation in potentially explosive environments.

Fiorentini reiterated: “This is another step towards better, more efficient, stable and safer gas distribution networks and management.”

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Nicholas Nhede
Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.