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Itron: A legacy of innovation

The senior leadership of Itron has a clear vision for the future of utilities
Image: Itron

The history of the utility industry is told through the innovations that improved the quality of life for customers. Similarly, Itron’s history is marked by the innovations we developed to help improve the operations of our utility customers.

1977 – When it all began

Itron History of innovation - 1977

Itron was founded by a small group of engineers in Hauser Lake, Idaho, trying to find a better way for utilities to read meters and bill customers. Our first offering was a meter-reading service that combined a portable computer and printer and was justified via the savings in postage costs.

1980 – Handheld computer

Itron improved the accuracy and speed with which utilities collected meter data by developing a ruggedised, handheld computer for the task.

1990 – Automated meter reading

With large-scale residential automated meter reading (AMR), Itron enabled utilities to collect natural gas and electricity data remotely via wireless radio frequency communication.

AMR extended to water in 1995.

1998 – Solid-state electricity meter

The world’s first solid-state meter, the CENTRON, began the transition from analogue to digital. This allowed Itron to deliver advanced measurement capabilities, integrated communications and upgradeable firmware.

2000 – Knowledge applications

The senior leadership of Itron has a clear vision for the future of utilities

Itron acquired and developed software that gave utilities better insights for forecasting, meter data management, analysis, workforce management and more.

2007 – Advanced metering infrastructure

With two-way communication between a smart meter and the utility, Itron enabled a new era of optimisation and efficiency for utility operations.

2012 – IPv6 architecture

In alliance with Cisco, Itron delivered a true Internet Protocol (IPv6) communications architecture that revolutionised utilities’ networking capabilities. It also created one of the first open, interoperable platforms for smart grid and smart city communications.

2013 – Smart city leadership

Recognising the importance of energy and water service for cities, Itron joined several smart city collaborations and became a founding member of the Smart Cities Council. Frost & Sullivan recognised Itron as Smart City Company of the Year in 2014.

2014 – Real-time, edge decisions

Itron’s platform brought computing power and analytics to sensing devices, opening the door for utilities to improve grid responsiveness through distributed decision-making and control.

2018 – IIoT and smart cities expansion

Itron acquired Silver Spring Networks, enhancing our technology portfolio to deliver comprehensive solutions that enable the utility industry to participate in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and the future of smart cities.

2021 – Rolling out distributed intelligence

Itron’s utility customers have 2 million distributed intelligence-enabled smart meters in the field and another 6 million under contract. The edge intelligence platform is beginning to solve critical power grid challenges in innovative, new ways.

Want to know more about Itron’s vision of the future?

Read ‘From inspiration to innovation – Itron’s senior leadership discusses the future of utilities‘ and watch Itron President & CEO, Tom Deitrich, talking about his five predictions for the future of the industry.