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Spokane, Wash., March 25// -- Avista Utilities will begin installation of Advanced Meter Reading (AMR) technology for its approximately 107,000 customers in northern Idaho.
The project, which will run from March through November 2005, will start with residential customers in Coeur d'Alene. Installers will be in the field beginning March 28.
Other communities involved in the AMR project this year include Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry, Post Falls, Rathdrum, Dalton Gardens and Lewiston. Avista customers in rural areas of northern Idaho will have their meters changed in 2006.
"AMR technology benefits customers by eliminating the need for Avista Utilities meter readers to enter their property to read the meters each month, with only an occasional visit required for maintenance," said Don Kopczynski, vice president of transmission and distribution operations for Avista Utilities. "AMR will also reduce vehicle miles by reading meters remotely, and this, in turn, will help reduce our gasoline costs and lessen air pollution for everyone."
Implementing the AMR system involves attaching a small device to a natural gas meter to record consumption and encode the information. There will be no interruption of natural gas service A short interruption of electric service will be necessary to install the new digital electric meter that will replace existing electric meters. Both meters will then be equipped to transmit information to remote data collectors. Some AMR technologies use cable or telephone lines to send the data and others, such as the ones Avista is installing, use radio frequencies.
Avista is contracting with Tru-Check Meter Services for the installation. Technicians will drive trucks with both Tru-Check and Avista logos on them, wear red or white shirts with Tru-Check logos and carry photo identification stating the technician's name and "Tru-Check, Contractor for Avista Utilities."
Customers will receive notification by mail shortly before technicians start work in their neighborhood.
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is a company operating division that provides service to 330,000 electric and 305,000 natural gas customers in four western states. Avista's non-regulated subsidiaries include Avista Advantage and Avista Energy. Avista Corp.'s stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.
Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.
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