NERTEC Joins NRECA and Plexus Research in Propane Field Demonstration Project

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Richardson, Texas, May 9, 2000: NERTEC announces its participation in the NRECA and Plexus Research investigation into Automated Meter Reading (AMR) technologies of propane consumption. NERTEC joins the group of five other AMR vendors after an original participant withdrew from the project last month. The Cooperative Research Network of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is conducting a live field AMR demonstration for electricity and propane meter reading at selected cooperative energy utilities. This project is demonstrating various AMR equipment and technologies from six suppliers installed at six cooperative electric utilities. The trial will evaluate the effectiveness of AMR technology for propane consumption reading – the technologies’ performance, installation and operational issues, and the benefits to the consumer. NERTEC is supplying several of its AMR devices, the TL402 TELEREADER® for propane consumption reading and TL302 Multi-Utility TELEREADER® for reading both electricity and propane meters simultaneously. NERTEC’s WebRead, a service that collects, manages, and disseminates the meter reading data over the Internet, will manage these devices. “We are very excited to have the opportunity to participate in this project and to demonstrate NERTEC’s AMR technology for reading electric and propane gas consumption”, states Daniel Pouliot, Vice President of Business Development of NERTEC Inc. “NERTEC has spent a great deal of time and effort in preparing for this market and recognizes the advantages of integrating AMR for multiple energy services at a single customer site. We foresee a successful trial and an aggressive push into this market. We look forward to seeing the results of the entire project when the demonstration is completed.” AMR technology provides many benefits to the propane consumer and utility. Instead of the customer paying for a complete refilling of the tank of propane up front, the utility can bill the customer on a monthly or periodical basis for the actual energy consumed. This lowers the financial burden to the customer and allows the utility to manage its purchasing and storage of propane more effectively. With remote propane meter reading systems, utilities can use their resources more efficiently. Propane trucks can schedule their routes to fill tanks that they know are running low (versus showing up to fill an already full tank). The utility can also consolidate propane tanks to serve several houses since each customer site has its own meter. As a value-added service, AMR provides a mechanism to monitor customers’ usage patterns to recognize anomalies or problems such as leaks. NERTEC is also providing the TL302 Multi-Utility TELEREADER® to read both electric and propane meters simultaneously. This AMR device collects the meter-reading data from both meters and then transmits the data to a single utility for billing or further dissemination (centralized processing), or to separate utilities or departments (decentralized processing) as needed. The TL302 performs these features without the use of a battery. About NERTEC Inc. – NERTEC Inc. is a solely owned subsidiary of NERTEC Design Inc. of Granby, Quebec, Canada. NERTEC has a diverse product line of AMR devices (TELEREADER® and CellReader™ AMR products) and Table TstBench™ (an ANSI C12.19 compliant, universal meter builder, program, and simulator software package). NERTEC offers off-the-shelf and custom solutions for electric, gas, propane, and water utilities. Since 1985, NERTEC has been a recognized leader in developing, designing, manufacturing, and delivering AMR systems and value-added service products. NERTEC and its family of AMR products are on the worldwide web at www.nertec.com.
NERTEC Inc.

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