Itron will supply approximately two million new electric meters over the next two years as part of BC Hydro's Smart Metering Program. The Smart Metering Program will keep rates lower than they would have otherwise been in B.C. through savings of about $70 million in the first three years of implementation and a net benefit to customers of over $500 million in the long term.
Itron will provide its OpenWay smart meters, run over a multi-application communication network powered by Cisco. The associated system software and meter data management system are included in the agreement, providing a cost-effective, end-to-end solution. The contract is worth approximately $270 million.
The Smart Metering Program will make BC Hydro’s grid more reliable; increase public and employee safety; provide immediate savings helping to keep rates low; and cut down on energy theft. Some of the features of smart meters over current mechanical meters include:
- Knowledge when a customer’s power is out and when it is has been restored
- Automated meter reading that provides up to date consumption and billing information
- Two way communications between the smart meter and BC Hydro for improved efficiencies
- Capture of voltage and power quality data – in addition to consumption information – to optimize the operation of BC Hydro’s electricity grid
- Automated meter alarms to identify operational problems and some types of theft
In addition to BC Hydro, several large utilities in North America are deploying Itron’s OpenWay system, including Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, CenterPoint Energy and Detroit Edison. Itron now has more than 16 million OpenWay units under contract.
Itron joins Vancouver-based Corix and international leaders Capgemini as suppliers to BC Hydro’s Smart Metering Program.