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Liberty Lake-based Itron Inc. said this week that they’ve just helped install their millionth OpenWay smart meter at Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the nation’s largest electric utilities.
What is striking is that the media folks at Itron went out and even found who the lucky customer is.
And it is …. drumroll … an unidentified customer who lives in Redondo Beach. Several dignitaries were on hand to commemorate the event, including U.S. Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), 36th Congressional District; Theodore F. Craver Jr., president, chairman and CEO of Edison International; Lynda Ziegler, senior vice president of customer service for SCE; and Malcolm Unsworth, president and CEO of Itron. The photo above, with two dignitaries and an unindentified technician, came by way of Earthtimes.com.
Does it seem odd that we get the full list of the honchos who showed up, but not the name of the customer? (We have a feeling he or he is not running for office.)
Now you will want to ask, what is an OpenWay meter? One way to think of it is, it’s like an HTC Droid Incredible or iPhone 3GS meter compared with your grandma’s cell phone. The OpenWay is Itron’s answer for utilities needing lots of ways to deliver data down the grid to the homes and businesses and customers, and to eventually allow demand-response control of a customer’s energy use.
Installation of the one millionth meter took place July 12. Southern California Edison”s crews began installing the first bunch of OpenWay meters in September 2009, and installations will continue
Did it make any difference when Itron Inc. CEO and President Malcolm Unsworth met with President Barack Obama in a Rose Garden ceremony last week?
The Itron stock symbol seems to tell the story.On Friday morning, April 30, Itron shares opened at $80.45. That morning Unsworth, with two Itron manufacturing workers, met Obama and listened as the president praised efforts by U.S. firms like Itron in helping meet the pressing needs of a more efficient electric grid.
At 11:40 a.m., shortly after the White House event, shares of Itron hit their recent high point, at $81.75. That’s the high price point over the past two years.
Since then the Itron share price has slid southward. As of today, it’s trading at $75 and change. To see the earlier Office Hours blog entry on the Rose Garden event, it’s here.
Deloris Duquette, who is vice president for sales development and operations at Liberty Lake-based Itron, said the real reason for the spike was the April 28 Q1 financial results.
“We released earnings after the market closed on the 28th and beat expectations by quite a bit and saw a (roughly) $5 uptick in the price on the 29th on very heavy volume.”
Right after the earnings report, the Thursday and Friday total volumes of shares traded also soared to more than one million shares, Duquette pointed out.
Itron CEO Malcolm Unsworth, along with other representatives of U.S. energy companies, met with President Barack Obama today (April 30) at the White House. (Associated Press photo found on www.whitehouse.gov)
Unsworth, who became CEO last year of metering-system powerhouse Itron last year, stands to the left of the president in this shot from a meeting in the Rose Garden. With Unsworth were two Itron manufacturing workers at the event, James Morris and Carla Reysack (far left).
The event saluted companies using federal stimulus money to help improve the country’s energy infrastructure. A transcript of the proceedings is here.