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Tests include Itron meters

Thu., Sept. 10, 2009

‘Smart grid’ could help control costs, energy usage

Liberty Lake meter technology company Itron Inc. is taking part in a lab test of “smart grid” technology conducted by the nation’s second-largest energy utility, National Grid.

The New York-based subsidiary of a large British energy company, National Grid is testing smart metering equipment from Itron during its proof of concept test, expected to run for two years.

Itron said it plans to demonstrate how smart metering systems and related data management systems can help consumers, businesses and utilities reduce and control consumption of electricity.

The smart grid is a collective effort by product makers, utilities and regulators to use technology and more effective communications to cut costs, operate more efficiently and reduce outages.

Itron’s advanced meters are designed to help consumers reduce consumption based on power pricing, and allow utilities to get accurate predictions of systemwide power needs.

At the local level, smart meters that allow consumers the option of cutting energy use could lower overall consumption by 3 percent to 11 percent, an Itron press release said.

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