Welcome to Itron North America

Industry Insights

Beyond Run to Fail: Redefining Low-Voltage Grid Management

EV Charger

In today’s dynamic energy industry, the low-voltage grid plays an increasingly critical role—especially as electric vehicles (EVs) and distributed energy resources (DERs) like solar, wind power and battery storage become more widespread. Global EV sales grew 43% in 2020, and though more than 3 million EVs were sold in 2020, within seven years the global EV market is expected to reach 233.9 million units1–stressing rapidly aging infrastructure and providing grid operators with new challenges to balance supply and demand. When it comes to DERs, Navigant Research has called the integration of renewable energy “one of the most disruptive factors affecting the grid of today and the future”2 —something that must be addressed as the cost to implement residential solar continues to decline, on-premise/distributed battery storage becomes more viable and as wind power contributes more electricity to the grid. Both EVs and DERs can play a significant role in stemming global climate disruption, but their impact on the reliability of the electricity distribution grid can’t be understated. Neither can the cost of not addressing these grid issues today: in 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy put the total cost of grid failures between $28 billion and $169 billion annually.3

What used to be a one-dimensional flow of power from generation to customer homes and businesses is now becoming an interactive, two-way transaction with more unpredictable variables than ever before. But with the right insights, in the right places, you can monitor and control the low-voltage grid to maintain grid reliability, resiliency and efficiency.

By combining our distributed intelligence (DI) platform—which leverages an industrial IoT network, smart grid sensors and edge computing—with our real-time vision technology that provides continuous insights, analytics and control, Itron is redefining what’s possible with low-voltage grid management. And with more than 40 years in the industry and decades of experience delivering turnkey programs, Itron has the solutions and the expertise to help you evolve your low-voltage grid.

More Intelligence Unlocks More Possibilities

Our solutions give you the most insight into the least visible part of your distribution system—and it does it in the most cost-effective way possible, providing visibility both in front of and behind the meter. What used to be possible only with expensive, point solutions is now achieved by layering on new use cases to an already-established AMI system.

Using smart, DI-enabled meters with peer-to-peer connectivity, high-resolution data and edge computing, all connected via a secure and resilient multi-application industrial IoT (IIoT) network, applications can be downloaded to devices in the field to solve specific grid challenges. 

With this technology, you can:

  • Gain true situational awareness and real-time visibility to endpoints across the network
  • Ensure grid reliability when faced with unpredictable, variable load
  • Protect and extend the life of vital grid assets like transformers
  • Lower your operating costs
  • Maximize the adoption of DERs and EVs
  • Provide new avenues for customer engagement
  • Open the door to new revenue streams


Targeted Portfolio for Low-Voltage Grid Challenges

The proliferation of both EVs and DERs will have a significant impact on overall grid operations, particularly across the low-voltage grid. To address these challenges, Itron is introducing several new solutions in our Optimizer portfolio. These solutions run on this DI + real-time vision technology platform and will help you better manage these new variable grid assets, transform your low-voltage grid and improve the return on your infrastructure investments.

  • Itron EV Charging Optimizer lets EV program managers at your utility set up, monitor and manage a holistic, fleet EV charging solution that includes:
    • Commercial customer charging management, scheduling, etc.for EV fleets
    • Grid analytics and optimization from Itron’s real-time vision platform
    • Enrollment of customers into EV charging programs
    • Charging-as-a-service management programs through cloud-based offerings
  • Itron DER Optimizer lets distribution system managers at your utility set up, monitor and manage a holistic DER integration solution that includes:
    • Analytics tools for EV and solar panel (PV) integrations
    • Real-time insights for grid optimization at the edge of the distribution system
    • Customer/consumer enrollment into applicable programs and services from their utility
    • Standardized control of DER assets distributed across the grid, conforming to IEEE 2030.5 control protocols
  • Itron Grid Edge Optimizer lets grid operations managers at your utility set up, monitor and manage grid operations programs to:
    • Monitor voltage levels with intelligent, connected technology with real-time visibility and insights to endpoints in the system
    • Gain increased locational awareness of what is happening across the electrical distribution system, at which assets and at what precise location
    • Asset management and protection for critical infrastructure like transformers
    • Integrate this technology directly into your ADMS


Change the conversation from simply integrating EVs and DERs safely to one that makes them an integral part of your grid’s overall stability with solutions from Itron.


1 Electric Vehicle (EV) Market by Vehicle Type (Passenger Vehicles, LCVs, HCVs, Two-wheelers, e-Scooters & Bikes), Propulsion Type (BEV, FCEV, PHEV, HEV), End Use (Private, Commercial, Industrial), Power Output, Charging Standard, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2027, Meticulous Research, April 2021
DERs and DERMS platforms take center stage in grid transformation, UtilityDive.com, May 14, 2019
Infrastructure Report Card 2021: Energy, infrastructurereportcard.org