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CenterPoint Energy Teams with GE on Advanced Metering System

CenterPoint Energy awards GE Digital Energy contract to provide wireless network infrastructure to reach 2.4 million consumers 

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Rochester, New York – March 30, 2009 - CenterPoint Energy, Inc.’s (NYSE: CNP) electric transmission and distribution subsidiary has selected GE Digital Energy as its provider of wireless communications to support the electric utility’s Advanced Metering System (AMS) that is designed to give Houston-area electric consumers the ability to better monitor and manage electric use and cost in near real-time. 

 

GE Digital Energy’s MDS Mercury 3650 radios along with engineering services, network design, project management, and support services, will support the transmission of electric utility meter data over the AMS network from consumers’ homes and businesses to CenterPoint Energy’s data center. 

“The Advanced Metering System is our first step in developing a smart grid – comprised of technology, automation and electrical infrastructure integration,” said Kenny Mercado, Senior Vice President of Advanced Metering Deployment, CenterPoint Energy. 

“As one of the leading energy delivery companies in the U.S., CenterPoint Energy understands the significant impact that innovative GE technology and engineering services have on business performance,” said Larry Sollecito, President and CEO, GE Digital Energy. “GE is committed to helping customers transform and modernize today’s electrical grid to a more reliable, efficient and intelligent system from a power plant to a consumer.” 

In March 2009, CenterPoint Energy began replacing existing electric meters with smart meters. More than 145,000 smart meters will be installed across the Houston area by the end of 2009. The AMS will be deployed during the next five years to over 2.4 million consumers within a 5,000 square mile service area around metropolitan Houston.

“The reliability, ruggedness and long distance capabilities of the MDS Mercury 3650 radios will be key in supporting CenterPoint Energy’s Advanced Metering System,” said Sollecito. 

Once the AMS, including the communications infrastructure, is installed retail electric providers (REPs) would be able to offer new products and services to their consumers, such as giving consumers the ability to monitor their energy usage and energy prices in real-time from computer screens in their homes. Consumers could know how much electricity their appliances are using as well as what electricity rates they are paying at any given time. Additionally, consumers could be able to remotely control their appliances via the Internet. For example, consumers on vacation would now be able to turn on their lights at night or adjust the air conditioner while they are away. 

See what others are saying about CenterPoint Energy and GE MDS:

Treehugger.com: GE Digital Energy Buidling Wireless "Smart Meter" Network For 2.4 Million Power Customers
Information Week: GE Wireless Radios Power Houston Smart Grid Systems
Greentech Media: GE Offers WiMAX Smart Meter Solution
RTT News: GE Digital Energy to Support Advanced Metering System of CenterPoint Energy
Green Car Congress Blog: CenterPoint Energy Selects GE for Smart Grid Advanced Metering System for Houston
Ecosilly Blog: CenterPoint Energy Selects GE for Smart Grid Advanced Metering System for Houston, TX
Seeking Alpha Blog: GE to Offer WiMAX Smart Meter Solution Through CenterPoint Energy

About GE Digital Energy:

GE Digital Energy is part of GE Enterprise Solutions, is a global leader in protection and control, communications, power sensing and power quality solutions. Its products and services increase the reliability of electrical power networks and critical equipment for utility, industrial and large commercial customers. From protecting and optimizing assets such as generators, transmission lines and motors, to ensuring secure wireless data transmission and providing uninterruptible power, GE Digital Energy delivers industry-leading technologies to solve the unique challenges of each customer. For more information, visit http://www.gedigitalenergy.com.


About GE Enterprise Solutions:

GE Enterprise Solutions elevates customers' productivity and profitability with integrated solutions using sensors and non-destructive testing; security and life safety technologies; power system protection and control; and plant automation and embedded computing systems. Enterprise Solutions' high-tech, high-growth businesses include Sensing & Inspection Technologies, Security, Digital Energy, and GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms. The business has 17,000 problem-solving employees in more than 60 countries around the world.

Media Contact

Donna Mirandola
Communications Manager
GE Digital Energy
905-201-2407
donna.mirandola@ge.com