Pacific Gas & Electric's (PG&E; San Francisco, California, U.S.) and Distribution Control Systems Inc. (DCSI; St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., www.twacs.com), a subsidiary of ESCO Technologies Inc., announce that the SmartMeter deployment is on track to meet its September 2007 target. DCSI is providing equipment, software and services for hourly-automated meter reading in support of the electric portion of PG&E's advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) project.

DCSI is conducting the program with PG&E over a five-year period projected to end in late 2011. An initial paced deployment began in Bakersfield in November 2006. This deployment now manages hourly reads using DCSI's TWACS Network Gateway software and TWACS advanced transponders for the electric meter. The SmartMeter program will provide capabilities to PG&E including outage detection and assessment, and remote connect/disconnect for electric customers. It will enable the introduction of demand-response and time-of-use rates for residential and small business customers as early as summer, 2007.

Installation of SmartMeter electric meters and gas modules began in early November 2006 at a measured pace as PG&E has been preparing to “go-live” from the meter to customer billing. All substation and endpoint equipment deliveries have met PG&E's schedule. A major DCSI target is assisting PG&E reach comprehensive functionality for full meter deployment, billing and ancillary services. Several IT systems are being introduced to support both the ramp up of mass field deployment and the use of automated meter reads to bill customers.