Itron has completed the fastest automated meter reading (AMR) deployment in North America for Progress Energy, in a record time of 18 months. More than 2.7 million electromechanical meters were replaced with Itron's AMR-equipped CENTRON solid-state meter.
Progress Energy, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serving customers in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. The CENTRON meters were installed in all three states, with an aggressive schedule to finish the deployment in less than two years. On its peak day, Progress Energy — through its contract with Itron — completed more than 20,000 meter exchanges in a single day.
“In addition to a speedy installation, this project provides a less intrusive meter-reading process for our customers and accurate, real-time information on energy usage,” said Bill Johnson, president and chief operating officer of Progress Energy. “This initiative also is benefiting customers by reducing operating expenses in the long term.”
Johnson said his company expects to save $21 million annually with AMR technology. He also said Progress Energy has experienced a 50 percent reduction of meter-related billing complaints from previously estimated meter reads, inaccurate utility bills and work order errors.
“A record-breaking installment of this magnitude takes an enormous amount of teamwork, flexibility and communication,” said Philip Mezey, senior vice president and COO for Itron North American operations. “With Progress Energy, we had a good partner to start with. They have smartly migrated from handhelds to mobile AMR and are piloting Fixed Network to determine their advanced metering needs. We could not ask for a better partner.”