Over the next two years Itron will deliver and install an end-to-end solution composed of electronic gas volume converters and GPRS two-way communication devices for an estimated 30,000 existing commercial and industrial (C&I) gas meters.
In addition, in cooperation with Capgemini Itron will provide associated managed services including meter reading and maintenance.
According to the Italian Smart Meter Directives (AEEG 155/08), Italgas is gradually upgrading its installed metering base - in order to provide improved metering through gas converters - and introducing remotely read hourly readings.
By meeting these requirements, Italgas will also be taking the opportunity to adopt the most advanced metering systems, further improving its services.
Itron products fully comply with the Italian Regulatory communication protocol, tariff and specific metering data base requirements. In addition the Itron solution provides interoperability using the DLMS Cosem* protocol and data model resulting in the certification of the metering system to the latest standards.
The end-to-end solution from installation to the transmission of meter data to Italgas will be performed with software tools designed specifically for this rollout, including an adaptation of Itron's meter data collection software. Device installation and maintenance will be managed by Itron's existing field services network which will be extended to cover this large deployment across Italy.
Marcel Regnier, Senior Vice-President and COO Itron International said: ""We are proud to be part of yet another step forward in rolling out smart metering across Europe. In addition to helping Italgas meet statutory requirements, this solution will also improve their customer service. In partnering with Italgas, Itron is once again demonstrating the capabilities of our end-to-end solutions in today's complex market not only in metering but also in managed services."
Itron will work closely with its preferred partners for the associated managed services. Capgemini will manage the reading and sending of data to Italgas, including a dedicated Help-Desk Service. The communication services will be administered by Vodafone, who will provide innovative network management tools via GPRS.
Bertrand Barthelemy, Head of Managed Business Services, Capgemini, commented: ""Capgemini is very happy to launch with Itron this innovative service on the Gas Market for Italgas. Our main goal is to deliver a range of services based on an operational standard solution platform that is easily operated under a Managed Business Services mode or quickly integrated, partially or integrally, in a customer information system. We are proud to offer a secure data collect platform to Italgas."
""Smart metering is a key growth area for M2M technology and its accurate capture and delivery of data allows utility companies to run their businesses both efficiently and effectively," added Erik Brenneis, Global Head of M2M, Vodafone. ""Vodafone's reliable and high-performance networks and management tools will help to deliver services that meet new EU regulations as well as enhance the customer's experience."
Notes:*DLMS Cosem- "Automatic Meter Reading, or more general - Demand Side Management - needs universal definitions, needs communication standards. DLMS/COSEM is the common language so that the partners can understand each other." www.dlms.com