Press Release

Itron Drives Market Collaboration, Support for IEEE TG4g, a New Smart Grid Communication Standard Promoting Increased Interoperability

LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. — November 23, 2009 — Itron Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI) announced today its support for a future smart grid standard under development from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Itron fully anticipates that its OpenWay smart grid solution, including currently delivered hardware and operational software components, can support full compliance with both the mandatory and optional specifications of IEEE’s Task Group 802.15.4g (TG4g) Smart Utility Network (SUN) proposed standard.

Once fully ratified, TG4g SUN will enable interoperable communications between smart grid devices, including smart meters, to establish common and consistent communication parameters for utilities which have large geographically diverse networks and mass numbers of smart endpoints to support.

Itron was pleased to participate in the growing momentum around the standard last week, including increasing collaboration within an IEEE working group in Atlanta at the 802 Plenary Meeting. This industry initiative resulted in the development of an amendment to the existing IEEE 802.15.4 standard, including technical requirements that support interoperability and existing deployed smart utility networks. The group of industry stakeholders made major progress in forming the standard’s physical layer specification and have agreed to its main parameters, including communication data rates and modulation to help facilitate global smart grid applications.

“Standards that encourage interoperability are a must for utilities as they embark on this energy revolution and IEEE TG4g is no exception. OpenWay was designed and architected to embrace these emerging standards and we are confident that both our currently deploying customers and new installations will be able to take advantage of these new capabilities shortly after their ratification,” said Philip Mezey, Itron North America senior vice president and chief operating officer.

Upon successful adoption of TG4g SUN, Itron will demonstrate that OpenWay and the OpenWay CENTRON® smart meter already comply in several important ways including:

• Support for optional frequency-shift keying (FSK) modulation with a communication bit rate of 150Kbps, operating within specified frequency bands and parameters
• Support for mandatory FSK modulation with a communication bit rate of 50Kbps, operating within specified frequency bands and parameters
• Support for mandatory physical layer packet structure
• Support for advanced physical layer features including data whitening, forward error correction (FEC), and cyclic redundancy check (CRC) support, all of which are designed to enhance end-to-end system performance
• Support for physical layer messages of up to 1500 bytes in length; ability to efficiently accommodate IPv6 packets

Concluded Mezey, “As a major smart grid influencer, Itron recognized early on in its research and development of OpenWay that it needed to offer utilities a system architecture that addressed communication range, robustness and coexistence characteristics truly unique to the grid’s network environment. That is why we are able to easily embrace TG4g SUN and already anticipate product compliance.”

Smart grid standards like TG4g SUN are meant to provide guidelines in understanding and defining grid interoperability of the electric power system with end-use applications, like smart meters, home area networks and advanced distribution operations. Integration of energy and communications technology is necessary for utilities to achieve seamless operation for electric generation, delivery, consumer end-use benefits, flexible and reliable delivery, and the integration of new, renewable energy sources that are the realization of the smart grid vision.

Following the natural development process, now that the IEEE working group has prepared a draft of the proposed standard, editors for the standard have been instructed to start working on technical specifications documents which will become a baseline draft for the next meeting in January 2010. The draft will then be submitted for balloting approval by IEEE members. The IEEE Standards Association Standards Board Review Committee will then make a recommendation on final ratification to the Standards board. This positions the working group well to publish the standard, in accordance with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) scheduling, by the end of 2010.

In addition to IEEE, Itron plays a key role in developing smart grid standards by engaging with and providing thought leadership to other groups such as the UCA International Users Group, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), NIST, and the ZigBee Alliance. As a member of the board of directors for the ZigBee Alliance, Itron played a key role in supporting the Alliance’s recently announced decision to further integrate IP standards into ZigBee specifications.

About Itron

Itron enables utilities and cities to safely, securely and reliably deliver critical infrastructure solutions to communities in more than 100 countries. Our portfolio of smart networks, software, services, meters and sensors helps our customers better manage electricity, gas and water resources for the people they serve. By working with our customers to ensure their success, we help improve the quality of life, ensure the safety and promote the well-being of millions of people around the globe. Itron is dedicated to creating a more resourceful world. Join us:

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