National Grid’s New England service territory reached a significant milestone in February 2002, with 1 million electric meters now fitted with Itron’s AMR technology that enables meter data to be collected automatically via radio signal.

National Grid has the largest electricity transmission and distribution network in the New England/New York market, serving approximately 3.2 million customers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and upstate New York. Installation of the 1 million AMR-enabled meters for National Grid in New England took 16 months.

The implementation at National Grid began in November 2000, with an initial project that automated data collection from 300,000 meters in the utility’s Rhode Island service territory. National Grid expanded the project scope significantly by completing a purchase agreement with Itron to automate data collection from a total of 1.2 million electric meters for residential and small business customers within its New England service territory.

The system incorporates Itron’s mobile automatic meter reading technology, which uses a vehicle-based computer and radio transceiver to automatically collect data from meters equipped with Itron AMR meter modules, thereby eliminating the need for meter readers to access customer properties and visually read each meter.

After the meters are “retrofitted” with Itron AMR meter modules in a meter shop facility, they are reinstalled at customer locations by National Grid’s own field service staff. The utility then begins collecting accurate consumption data automatically and efficiently for customer billing using the Itron mobile AMR technology -- simply by driving down the street.

For more information, visit Itron’s website at www.itron.com.