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News Release

City of Long Beach Chooses Sensus For Gas Communications Network, Managed Services

Leading California gas utility selects scalable, adaptable FlexNetTM technology

Sensus, a leading provider of clean technology solutions, announces that the City of Long Beach Gas & Oil Department (LBGO) in California has selected Sensus for its smart communications network to improve operational efficiency, customer service and strategic planning at the municipality. The program will include the Sensus FlexNet™ network to serve LBGO’s more than 154,000 metered services, 50,000 new Sensus gas meters and managed software services.

LBGO serves more than half a million customers and wanted a long term, scalable solution to better serve these customers while also encouraging conservation. A long-time Sensus metering customer, LBGO determined that Sensus offered the best solution for the current and future needs of the municipality.

“Sensus has proven itself as a strategic partner throughout our metering program. We are thrilled to continue this partnership and are confident that FlexNet, managed software services and network hosting will deliver the results we need,” said Christopher Garner, department director at LBGO. “We chose Sensus because the minimal infrastructure of FlexNet enabled us to deploy in three years, but the scalability of Sensus’ technology enables us to benefit from the system for the next 30 years and beyond.”

LBGO initially looked at a program to simply automate meter reads. But after thorough analysis of the capabilities of the FlexNet network, they saw that the benefits of the system extended well beyond monthly meter reading. LBGO realized that they could ensure that their software and technology would always be up-to-date with Sensus hosting both the FlexNet head end and meter data management system. The Sensus hosting and software as a service arrangement also ensures that LBGO has complete visibility to their long term costs.

“Often hosting is mistaken as something for smaller utilities, but hosting has benefits for utilities of all sizes that do not want to make a significant investment in technology and resources to support the system,” added Garner. “This also saves us the hassle of requesting budget for technology upgrades. We have limited resources for technology support and software upgrades. Hosting mitigates this need.”

In the long run, LBGO will use this program to make strategic business decisions and investments. The data analytics provided by Sensus will help LBGO see, for example, where investments in pipeline replacement should be placed. Sensus data analytics provide a full picture of usage, area needs and consumption patterns. Upon program deployment, LBGO will also save 160 vehicle trips per day due to remote meter reading.

The FlexNet system’s network architecture requires less infrastructure than competing solutions, resulting in lower cost of ownership. In addition, the network provides the redundancy necessary for system reliability. Sensus’ robust data analytics solution features the software, user interface and supporting services needed to aggregate and analyze data to make decisions that save time and money. In the gas industry, data from the pipeline infrastructure can help to better target capital improvements, resulting in lower cost to users and an increase in public safety. FlexNet can also be used by the Long Beach Water Department.

LBGO’s deployment will last approximately three years with completion estimated for 2017.

“From large regional operators to small local companies, Japan’s municipal gas industry faces the same challenges as LBGO: finding a way to deliver cost-effective, reliable and secure services to their customers while maximizing the potential of their infrastructure,” says Toshiyuki Naka, Country Manager for Japan, Sensus Japan K.K. “This spring, Sensus is preparing to conduct a trial in Tokyo of our long-range radio technology. We invite gas utilities in Japan to observe the trial and find out why FlexNet’s reach, coverage and stable connectivity outperforms mesh and cellular networks.”

Want to learn more about FlexNet and other Sensus solutions? Please visit Sensus in booth E2-33 at the International Smart Grid Expo, February 25-27 at Tokyo Big Sight.

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