US utility Peoples Natural Gas partnered with smart energy management firm Itron to improve its gas distribution network.In a press statement, Itron announced that it has been selected to deploy its smart gas solution in the utility’s distribution system.
The utility’s network comprises approximately 700,000 natural gas customers in Western Pennsylvania, west Virginia and Kentucky.
The collaboration between the two companies aims to optimise the utility’s operations. In addition, Peoples Natural Gas said its partnership with Itron sets a foundation for installation of smart city applications in future.
The deal includes the installation of Itron’s 460,000 gas communication modules through to 2021. [Gas meter market to reach US$2.27bn by 2021].
[quote] The gas modules will improve the utility’s billing system and revenue collection through automated and accurate meter reading. In addition, the gas modules will also help Peoples Natural Gas lower its operational costs by eliminating manual meter readings and gas leakages.
The system is also expected to help the utility to improve its grid reliability through real time insights on how the network is operating.
Ruth DeLost-Wylie , senior vice president at Peoples Natural Gas, said the system will “enhance the way we operate so we can improve service to our customers.”
US smart gas metering
In late March, the US based energy management firm also secured an automated metering infrastructure contract with US gas utility Questar Gas.
Under the contract, Itron will upgrade utility’s automated gas metering system.
The technology company said it will install 650,000 gas communication modules to enhance Questar Gas’ operations and better service to some 1 million customers in the US state of Utah, south western Wyoming and south eastern Idaho. [Illinois utility to install smart meters for gas and electric customers].
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 said 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.
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