eMeter Corporation Releases Version 4 of the Power Information Platform by eMeter to JEA; IBM Completes Scalability Test

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eMeter announced today that JEA of Jacksonville, Florida has put into production the latest release, 4.3, of the Power Information Platform™ by eMeter (PIPe) software. JEA, the municipal water/sewer/electric utility serving Jacksonville, is using the PIPe to provide advanced meter data management and related services for its 660,000 electric and water customers. eMeter handed the system off to JEA’s operators following integration with JEA’s core utility business systems and extensive testing. In a separate, parallel effort, IBM validated the PIPe’s ability to scale up to at least nine million meters.

eMeter announced today that JEA of Jacksonville, Florida has put into production the latest release, 4.3, of the Power Information Platform™ by eMeter (PIPe) software.

JEA, the municipal water/sewer/electric utility serving Jacksonville, is using the PIPe to provide advanced meter data management and related services for its 660,000 electric and water customers. eMeter handed the system off to JEA’s operators following integration with JEA’s core utility business systems and extensive testing. In a separate, parallel effort, IBM validated the PIPe’s ability to scale up to at least nine million meters.

"We are excited about reaching this milestone, just in time for hurricane season. The PIPe will help us respond to outages more quickly. Plus, we have already seen the software deliver increased efficiencies in our meter data processing, billing and outage/restoration event processing," said Jim Dickenson, JEA's Chief Executive Officer.

Prior to putting the PIPe into production at JEA, eMeter’s implementation team integrated the system with JEA’s meter reading systems and IT applications, as well as conducted extensive testing on those systems. eMeter’s testing included capturing and storing meter readings from JEA’s Cellnet wireless network meter reading system, MV-90 meter data collection system, and the existing hand-held, manual meter reading systems. Additional functions tested for the PIPe were the validation of meter data for integrity and accuracy, support for outage tracking and restoration verification, and delivery of timely and accurate data to JEA’s CIS, billing, and work management systems. Beyond these traditional meter data management applications, the PIPe also provides extensive AMR installation support, communications monitoring, asset tracking, and maintenance management capabilities.

“We are impressed with eMeter’s software but even more so with its people,” said Mahiuddin Laskar, JEA’s Program Manager. “The integration and testing went even more smoothly than planned, and the team is a true pleasure to work with. The experience and expertise eMeter has gained over the years in doing this kind of project were invaluable in making this project a tremendous success.”

During the same time period, IBM confirmed, via a major scalability test, that the PIPe can comfortably handle future workloads far in excess of JEA’s needs today. The scalability target jointly selected by eMeter and IBM was to process daily readings from 4.5 million electric meters with hourly data and 4.5 million gas meters with daily data. The scale test further required that the system process these daily readings while maintaining 14 months of data online and supporting various billing, reporting, and analytic processes.

"Executives at utilities such as JEA and regulators want to ensure that the AMR and meter data management systems being installed today can support future data volumes and new applications. AMR may need to be integrated with evolving communications technologies, perhaps even broadband over power line (BPL). IBM’s scale test proved that eMeter’s PIPe performs at full scale with the necessary speed and accuracy," explained Chris King, eMeter’s Chief Strategy Officer. “Running on IBM servers and using IBM’s DB2 database, the PIPe met or exceeded all of its targets, performing over twice as fast as it had been projected to.”

For the scale test, IBM created the simulation environment using eServer pSeries systems and ported eMeter’s PIPe software to use IBM’s DB2 Universal Database technology. Once this was done, IBM conducted extended performance testing using simulated loads under varying conditions expected in a real-world advanced metering environment. The simulation environment included more than 50 billion records in the test database. IBM’s scale team analyzed three primary test cases: daily loading of hourly electric meter reads and daily gas meter reads that would be received from advanced metering networks, export of such data to utility billing systems, and reporting on the AMR data collection, processing, and system performance by the PIPe’s management and report applications. Specific service level objectives were established and achieved for each of the test cases.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first scalability test demonstrating interval data processing for multi-million advanced metering systems,” said Larsh Johnson, President and CTO of eMeter. “We specifically designed the PIPe’s architecture to be able to support millions of meters and carry out multiple simultaneous processes. IBM’s test was challenging but fair; we are gratified by the PIPe’s performance under pressure.”

eMeter's PIPe is an enterprise-class application that supports and maintains advanced metering information using a proprietary data model and automated support for advanced metering business processes. The PIPe incorporates all the functionality required to deliver accurate and reliable data to utility applications. It is web-based, enabling desktop access to utility employees, business partners, and customers.

The PIPe architecture can scale from thousands to millions of on-line meters and includes a high-capacity messaging backbone and distributed application servers. Intelligent interface adapters integrate with utility and client legacy systems with minimal disruption to existing billing, outage, and distribution management systems. The PIPe’s meter and communications independence ensures support of new technologies as they emerge, making a utility client's infrastructure as "future proof" as possible.

About eMeter

Since 1999, eMeter Corporation of Redwood City, California, has provided software and services for electric, gas, and water utilities with fixed network automatic meter reading (AMR) systems. The Power Information Platform by eMeter (PIPe) Advanced Meter Information System (AMIS) software supports project management, system and asset management, and meter and communications installation, operations and maintenance. eMeter provides its AMIS technology as licensed software, owned and operated by the customer, as a hosted and managed service or ASP, and as part of a complete business process outsourcing (BPO) offering. eMeter's unequalled professional services team provides “design-build-operate” consulting and implementation services related to meter data management and advanced metering as well. For more see http://www.emeter.com.

About JEA

JEA is the eighth largest community owned electric utility in America providing electricity, water and sewer services to more than 750,000 accounts in Northeast Florida.

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Chris King
eMeter
650-631-7230
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