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Six Electric Cooperatives Move Forward With Aclara's Power-Line Communications

ST. LOUIS, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Six electric cooperatives in Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Texas have announced plans to deploy power-line communications systems from Aclara Technologies LLC, a leading provider of intelligent infrastructure technologies for water, gas and electric utilities and part of the Utility Solutions Group of ESCO Technologies Inc. (NYSE:ESE).

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Glades Electric Cooperative (GEC) in Moore Haven, Fla., Barry Electric Cooperative (BEC) in Cassville, Mo., Howard Electric Cooperative (HEC) in Fayette, Mo., United Electric Cooperative (UEC) in DuBois, Pa., Oahe Electric Cooperative (OEC) in Blunt, SD., and Fannin County Electric Cooperative (FCEC) in Bonham, Texas, will install Aclara's advanced communications solutions to better serve more than 60,000 customers across five states.

Aclara's power-line communications achieves the highest coverage in the industry because it operates on existing power lines, without adding additional communications infrastructure. Data provided by Aclara's advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solution allows utilities to better understand patterns of usage and identify programs to reduce system peaks and costs. Meters on Aclara's power-line communications system can be connected automatically, eliminating service calls.

"Our advanced technology will give utilities more flexibility in instituting programs to help their customers save money," said Nancy Rich, senior vice president of sales and account management at Aclara. "One way to reduce costs is by tracking energy diversion and correcting theft. Utilities can establish a metrics-based service quality improvement program and empower customers by instituting a pre-pay system that lets them determine how their electricity is delivered."

BEC has committed to upgrading its system by replacing 75 percent of its existing TWACS ® meters with the latest Aclara technology. Barry will also upgrade its current AMI substation hardware to enable its AMI system to support more than 9,600 members and its growing pre-pay program.

Over the next 18 months, Aclara's enhanced TWACS (eTWACS™) solution will replace GEC's existing drive-by system and provide some 16,000 customers with enhanced services and a more effective bill payment process. The eTWACS system will also reduce costs and streamline the utility's meter reading process.

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