You are here:  >>enron.com  >>Press Room  >>Press Releases  >>1997
spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer


Press Release

ENRON ANNOUNCES FIRST METERING SYSTEMS USING TWO-WAY WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS AND A SATELLITE-ENABLED NETWORK FOR ALL ELECTRICITY CONSUMERS

Strategic Alliances Links Enron, ABB, TransData, Motorola, Mtel and ARDIS To Offer A Revolutionary and Affordable Wireless Electricity Metering System

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, December 15, 1997

HOUSTON - Enron Energy Services, Inc. (EES), a subsidiary of Enron Corp., today announced agreements to launch the first-of-their-kind electric metering systems featuring two-way wireless communications and a satellite-enabled network for industrial, commercial and residential consumers in the deregulated marketplace.

"We have selected the best-in-class companies to deliver a revolutionary and affordable automatic meter reading system," said Lou Pai, chairman and CEO of EES. "California consumers are starting to see the benefits of the deregulating electricity industry. Not only will deregulation give them lower power prices, but more importantly, they can expect to see new and innovative products and services like what we have announced today. Our Interactive Meter Solution is a perfect example of how customers will be able to run their businesses and homes more efficiently and save money."

Soon, customers in California will be able to execute a simple command from a remote phone, computer or two-way pager, to adjust the thermostat, turn on the lights, stereo and oven and control the security system in their homes. Plant managers will be alerted to midnight power surges or outages, potentially saving thousands of dollars by cutting their response time to process equipment failures that previously may have lingered indefinitely. And, both residential and commercial customers will have the capability to more closely monitor and maximize their electricity savings with the Enron Interactive Metering Solution.

 

The Enron Interactive Metering Solution for Residential Customers

The residential metering communications system is comprised of Motorola FLEX™ two-way paging technology and Mobile Telecommunication Technologies' (Mtel) nationwide Advanced Messaging Network. No longer will meter readers be jumping fences to obtain data, but homeowners will soon have the ability to bring their homes into the 21st century by taking advantage of revolutionary technology. Enron intends to offer an Interactive Metering Solution to residential consumers in California as soon as the regulatory rules allow, which is currently scheduled for January,1999.

"Deregulation presents companies such as Motorola, Enron and others with tremendous opportunities to provide cutting-edge, cost-effective solutions to consumers wanting increased energy efficiency," said Dr. Julie Shimer, vice president and general manager, Motorola FLEX Architecture Solutions Division. "As technology such as FLEX two-way paging and wireless modems evolves into integrated components of innovative solutions such as the Enron Interactive Metering Solution, we realize that there are no marketplace limitations on where we can go from here. That's exciting to us and beneficial to our customers."

"I am delighted Enron selected Mtel to provide the fixed wireless for their residential Interactive Metering Solution," said John N. Palmer, Mtel Chairman. "Beyond meter reading, the additional services Enron will deliver to their residential customers will require a national, cost-effective two-way data network. We are convinced that the public is going to be genuinely surprised and excited over the innovative services available from Enron."

As states begin to deregulate their electricity industries, the Enron Interactive Metering Solution will provide a high-quality, low-cost, state-of-the-art technology system to all customers.

 

The Enron Interactive Metering Solution for Commercial and Industrial Customers

For commercial and industrial customers, the system consists of ABB Alpha ® electronic meters and TransData, Inc.'s Mark-V industrial grade meters, fitted with Motorola Series 500 Integrated Wireless Modems and transmitted over the ARDIS nationwide data network. Because this is the first metering system with nationwide capabilities equipped with internal wireless modems, customers will no longer be responsible for costly dedicated phone lines and the associated monthly bills.

"Enron's Interactive Metering Solution, which includes ABB's Alpha ® meter technology, combines public available networks to further reduce energy costs and value-added services for the customer," said John Reckleff, executive vice president and general manager of ABB Information Systems. "Today, the Alpha ® meter is the number one electronic polyphase meter in North America. These meter services allow you to monitor and manage your energy usage, receive automatic notification of outages, and track your service quality."

"The MARK-V, our fifth generation electric meter, establishes a new metering performance standard with the combination of a highly accurate digital measurement circuit and existing national two-way wireless network technology," said Edward Gleibs Jr., president of TransData, Inc. "This open protocol gateway will give the Enron Interactive Metering Solution the capacity for automated meter reading of billing data, load profiles, power quality reports, outage notifications and other services."

Enron's broad distribution of the Interactive Metering Solution creates an economy of scale that allows customers to enjoy the benefits of this innovative technology without paying high unit costs. Meters offered by other utilities and energy companies can have a much higher price tag without the innovative technologies of the Interactive Metering Solution. Each meter records multiple data pulses so that electricity, gas and water usage can be monitored by a single unit. Through the ease of the internet, commercial customers will then have the capability to access a wealth of their stored data, for example to compare the energy usage of multiple store and plant locations.

"It is a great win for ARDIS to be selected by Enron to participate in such an innovative and far-reaching service initiative," said Walt Purnell, president and chief executive officer, ARDIS. "Enron evaluated the alternatives and chose ARDIS to help it change the rules of utility monitoring. Leveraging ARDIS' superior in-building and nationwide network coverage, Enron will make meter reading more efficient and affordable, using the data it collects wirelessly to help its customers cut energy costs."

California is the first state to allow energy service providers to install meters in all customer locations which use more than 20 kilowatts of electricity beginning in January, 1998.

Enron   Enron Corp., one of the world's largest integrated natural gas and electricity companies with approximately $23 billion in assets, operates one of the largest natural gas transmission systems in the world; is the largest marketer of natural gas and electricity in North America; is a leading participant in liberalized energy markets in the United Kingdom and the Nordic Countries; markets natural gas liquids worldwide; manages the largest portfolio of fixed-price natural gas risk management contracts in the world; is among the leading entities arranging new capital to the energy industry; owns a majority interest in Enron Oil & Gas Company, one of the largest independent (non-integrated) exploration and production companies in the United States; owns and manages operating power plants and natural gas pipelines around the world; and is a major supplier of solar and wind energy worldwide. Enron's internet address is www.enron.com and its common stock is traded under the ticker symbol, "ENE."

ARDIS   ARDIS operates the first and largest nationwide data network, enabling fast, efficient communications. The company offers extensive in-building and on-street coverage, supporting mobile workers and an array of devices, including notebook computers, handheld PC's, fixed data systems and personal digital assistants. The ARDIS network serves the top 427 metro areas in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It covers more than 80 percent of the population and 90 percent of the business activity in the United States. The ARDIS service enables executives and mobile workers to access corporate information systems or to communicate instantaneously with peers from virtually any location. More information and detailed coverage maps are available at www.ardis.com.

Mtel   Mtel, a pioneer in the paging industry, is leading the evolution from paging to messaging. Its SkyTel service provides local, nationwide, and international paging services over two nationwide networks. Its Advanced Messaging Network supports a variety of nationwide messaging applications, including SkyWord Plus (TM) guaranteed paging and SkyWriter (TM), a fully interactive messaging service. Through Mtel fixed wireless, Mtel expects to support a broad array of fixed wireless solutions for a variety of industries. Mtel is headquarted in Jackson, Mississippi, and had 1996 revenues of $350 million. Detailed information and coverage maps for SkyTel services are available at www.skytel.com.

Motorola   Motorola is one of the world's leading providers of wireless communications, semiconductors, advanced electronic systems, components and services. The Wireless Subscriber Products Division develops industry-leading wireless packet data modems and solutions for the OEM market based on DataTACĀ® two-way, wide-area wireless data technology. DataTAC systems are deployed in 14 countries across Asia, Europe and North America and have more subscribers than any other public data network. The FLEX Architecture Solutions Division develops and markets innovative wireless information transfer and control applications derived from FLEX one- and two-way paging technology. The FLEX protocol is the standard for high-speed paging adopted by 16 of the top 20 U.S. service providers and by market-leading providers in Canada, Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East , and Central and Eastern Europe. FLEX protocol-based operators serve 91 percent of the worldwide subscriber base. Motorola sales in 1996 were $28 billion. More information can be found by visiting www.mot.com/nowires.

ABB   ABB Information Systems provides a complete range of electricity meters, metering systems, SCADA/EMS systems, bulk power management software, and distribution management software. It is a unit of ABB Inc. ABB Inc. with headquarters in Norwalk, Conn., serves customers in power generation, power transmission and distribution, industrial and building systems, financial services and transportation. The company and its affiliates had annual U.S. revenues of approximately $5.4 billion in 1996 and employed 22,000 people at manufacturing and other facilities in 41 states. ABB Inc. is part of the ABB Group, the international engineering company with approximately 215,000 employees worldwide in 1996 and revenue of $35 billion. Shares in ABB Group's parent companies, ABB AB and ABB AG, are traded, respectively, on the NASDQ (ABBBY) and OTC (ABBGY) stock markets.

TransData, Inc.   TransData, Inc., a privately held corporation with headquarters in Richardson, Texas, has been a leader in the design and manufacture of innovative power and energy measurements products since 1969. More than 2000 companies worldwide rely on the accuracy and dependability of TransData's energy measurement products. TransData's internet address is www.electricnet.com/transdata/index.htm.

Editors Note: Motorola is a registered trademark and FLEX of Motorola, Inc. ™ DataTAC Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.

For additional information please contact:

Gary Foster-Enron

713-853-4527

Jeff Eckard-Motorola

425-487-5953

William Kelly-ABB

203-750-2246

Steve Clegg-TransData, Inc.

972-470-9993

Naomi Yeransian-ARDIS

847-913-4233

Mark McElroy-Mtel

601-944-7416




spacer