Benefits of the Smart Grid
The smart grid is a modernized, digital network that delivers electricity more efficiently and reliably, while also enabling easier adoption of clean energy technologies such as solar power and electric vehicles. Smart grid devices — like Itron's smart meters — enable a two-way conversation between you and your utility. Similar to the internet, with the smart grid, many different devices throughout the electrical grid can talk to each other. This makes a lot of things possible.
- Take charge of your usage: The smart grid gives you access to your energy usage information in real-time so you can make informed usage decisions and better manage your energy bills.
- Experience fewer outages: Upgrading to a smarter electrical grid will make delivery of your electricity more reliable. Real-time communication can pinpoint and prevent problems even before they occur. This means your power can be restored faster if it goes out or an outage can be prevented all together.
- Integrate renewable energy: With the smart grid, you can generate your own power and sell it back to the grid. Smart grid technologies enable renewable energy to be seamlessly added to the grid without interrupting your service.
Benefits of Smart Gas and Water Networks
Similar to the smart grid, smart gas and water networks are optimizing the delivery and use of gas and water. Featuring two-way communications to the meter, these networks collect, deliver, manage and analyze data more frequently, enabling energy and water to be delivered more efficiently. It also means the utility meter reader will no longer need to access your property or home to read the meter.
- Take charge of your usage: Depending on your utility, smart networks can give you access to real-time gas and water usage information so you can make informed decisions about how you use these resources.
- Prevent water loss: Smart water solutions gather advanced data and use monitoring devices to help you and your utility locate leaks inside and outside your home, protecting this precious resource, reducing your costs and sometimes even helping prevent serious damage to your property from water leaks.
- Ensure safety: With smart devices on the gas distribution system, gas utilities can monitor for pipe corrosion and gas leaks, helping make sure you stay safe.
- Receive accurate bills: With smart networks and advanced technologies, you can rest assured that your utility bill is accurate and generated using actual meter reads.
Radio Frequency Safety
Itron's RF-based devices are safe, with low power, minimal airtime and limited proximity to humans.
Visit Radio Frequency Resource Center
Itron has rigorous quality assurance processes to ensure the safety, accuracy and reliability of our meters. We comply with safety standards established by a number of utility industry standard bodies including the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the International Electrotechnical Commission and National Electrical Manufacturers Associations.
ANSI is the official representative of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and sets electrical safety and operating standards for the United States. These standards have also been adopted by several utilities in Canada as Canada's electrical system is interconnected with the United States' electrical system. These safety and operating standards address topics such as humidity, rain, voltage surge and others to ensure meters operate properly when functioning within certified operational parameters.
Additionally, all of Itron's two-way communicating meters have received UL 2735 certification, including its OpenWay Riva CENTRON, OpenWay CENTRON, CENTRON Bridge and OpenWay CENTRON 4G LTE meters. Read this one-pager
to learn more about Itron meters and UL certification.
In addition, Itron's ISO-9000 quality systems systemically perform in-process tests during the manufacturing process to verify manufacturing conformance and accuracy checks. The system is calibrated at least once year to ensure accuracy. After manufacturing, our products are subject to additional tests to prove field reliability, product lifetime performance and safety.
For additional information on the safety of our meters, read Itron's meter safety compliance letter
, which details the extensive testing our meters undergo.
Itron metering products are subjected to conformance testing to validate that each meter meets customer requirements and design requirements, and regulatory agency requirements (Underwriters Laboratories, ANSI, Federal Communications Commission, etc.). In addition, Itron completes extensive reliability testing very early in the product lifecycle to prove field reliability and product lifetime performance.
Texas Case Study
In the spring of 2010, in response to accuracy concerns raise by consumer advocacy groups in Texas, the accuracy of Itron's meters was tested by Navigant Consulting LLC. The testing and verification efforts undertaken by Navigant confirmed that Itron's smart meters are accurately and reliably delivering meter data to utilities. Of the thousands of meters examined during the test, all were found to be accurate by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards. A link to the full report is available below.
Security & Privacy
Itron's smart metering systems are designed with robust security to ensure data is safe. Security features meet or exceed current requirements for critical cyber assets, protecting all areas of the system from physical and cyber attacks, and scale to support millions of metering end devices. The robust security of our systems allows utilities to ensure the privacy of their customer's information.
For more information on security, visit the Itron Security Center page.
None of Itron's products manufactured and sold today in North America contain mercury. Years ago, Itron made the decision to stop using mercury in our products for the safety and sustainability of the environment.
We believe the misinformation about our meters and mercury stems from a product disposal manual for older Itron products that are no longer manufactured. This manual refers to Itron Encoder Receiver Transmitters (ERT), which are communication modules installed on gas, water and older mechanical electric meters. Up until 2002, these modules were manufactured with a 1.16g mercury tilt tamper switch. This product disposal manual provides instructions for the safe and environmentally-friendly disposal of the switch in these older products. Furthermore, since 2002, all ERT modules have been manufactured with a mercury-free tilt switch.
The safety of our products and protection of the environment are very important to Itron, which is why our products do not contain mercury.