Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI) and Exceleron Software, LLC announced today that they are delivering a smart payment solution to Jefferson Energy Cooperative, a member-owned energy cooperative with more than 30,000 customers in 11 Georgia counties. Jefferson utilizes Itron’s cellular communications with MultiSpeak ® interface in conjunction with Exceleron’s MyUsage Prepaid to offer prepaid accounts to customers throughout its territory. Jefferson also utilizes Itron Services to manage and maintain the cellular communication solution. Problems associated with delinquent accounts originally drove Jefferson to a prepayment solution in the 1990s. After utilizing two earlier prepayment technologies, Jefferson turned to Itron to conduct a pilot test using cellular-based technology at locations throughout its service territory. The test yielded a 100 percent success rate and proved the Itron technology’s ease of installation and operation, leading the cooperative to proceed with cellular communications. With smart payment, Jefferson’s customers pay in advance for the electricity they will consume—and can afford. This simplifies the utility's operations, reduces delinquent account risks and electricity diversion, and improves cash flow. The solution delivers Jefferson’s key prepayment requirements, including strategic deployment capabilities, reliable communications to remote areas, and remote disconnect and reconnect. The solution has increased member satisfaction and encouraged energy conservation, with an average decrease in consumption of approximately 13 percent for prepaid accounts. Along with changes in deposit requirements for standard metering, implementing the prepay program has provided the utility with a 50 percent reduction in bad debt. “Thanks to Itron and Exceleron, we have a seamless, scalable method for offering prepaid accounts to our members,” said Dan Fowler, senior vice president of Energy Services at Jefferson Energy Cooperative. “The cellular solution is working very well. We have been very pleased with the performance of the system and the many benefits it has enabled, including improved member satisfaction and streamlined operations.”
“Smart payment is a great way for utilities to take control of energy management by balancing energy usage with the customer’s ability to pay,” said Jeff Carkhuff, vice president of global product management for electricity at Itron. “Together with Exceleron, we are helping Jefferson Energy Cooperative deliver a solution that meets customer needs and ensures energy resources are used, paid for and managed efficiently.”“More than 80 utilities across the country have selected MyUsage Prepaid to power their prepaid programs,” said Jeff Severs, COO of Exceleron Software. “Our strategic collaboration with Itron will allow even more utilities to reap the benefits of prepaid solutions even without full AMI deployment, just as Jefferson Energy has done.” About Itron Itron is a global technology company. We build solutions that help utilities measure, manage and analyze energy and water. Our broad product portfolio includes electricity, gas, water and thermal energy measurement and control technology; communications systems; software; and professional services. With thousands of employees supporting nearly 8,000 utilities in more than 100 countries, Itron empowers utilities to responsibly and efficiently manage energy and water resources. Join us in creating a more resourceful world; start here: www.itron.com. About Exceleron Software Exceleron Software is the leading software developer of prepaid account management solutions for the utility industry. The company’s flagship product, MyUsage Prepaid, is a patented, web-based, hosted solution that allows utility service providers to launch and manage prepaid accounts for consumers. Utilities across the United States are using MyUsage to lower costs, empower consumers, improve customer service, and encourage conservation. To learn more about MyUsage and how prepaid programs are superior to traditional billing systems, call 972-852-2711 or visit www.exceleron.com.