Cellnet to Install a New Automated Meter Reading System for Laclede Gas

    ST. LOUIS, March 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Laclede Gas Company
 announced today that as part of its continuing efforts to improve customer
 service it has signed a 15-year agreement with Cellnet Technology, Inc., to
 install and operate an automated meter reading (AMR) system. AMR is designed
 to eliminate the need for Laclede, which has nearly 40 percent of its
 approximately 650,000 meters indoors, to gain physical access to meters in
 order to obtain monthly meter readings.
     Under the terms of the agreement, Cellnet will install and own the system
 as well as handle data collection, meter data delivery, and network operation
 and maintenance services. Installation of equipment on customer meters is
 scheduled to begin in early July 2005 and will take about two years to
 complete.
     "Cellnet offers a proven AMR technology that will greatly benefit our
 customers through improved service and convenience," said Douglas H. Yaeger,
 chairman, president and chief executive officer of Laclede Gas. "Customers
 with inside meters will no longer be required to be home to give us access to
 read their meters. This system will allow us to provide them with real-time,
 accurate meter readings every month."
     The Cellnet AMR system employs a wireless fixed network with read devices
 that will be attached to existing Laclede Gas customer meters. Reads from each
 meter are transmitted to local network receivers and transferred to Laclede's
 customer billing system, resulting in the production of a timely, accurate
 bill.
     "Long term contracts like this one are the product of a culture that
 demands excellence," said Mike Zito, president and CEO of Cellnet. "As one of
 the oldest utilities in the country, Laclede has shown the kind of forethought
 and leadership that will bring long-reaching value not only to their
 customers, but also to their business. Having that type of culture ourselves,
 Cellnet is proud and excited to enter into a 15-year partnership with such a
 prestigious utility."
     Laclede customers will be notified by letter a few weeks prior to
 installation of the AMR system in their area. Customers with outside access
 meters need not be home for the installation. Those customers with inside
 meters will need to be home so that Cellnet personnel can gain access to the
 meter to install necessary equipment. Customers' gas service will not be
 interrupted during the installation process.
     Laclede Gas, a subsidiary of The Laclede Group, Inc. (NYSE:   LG), is the
 largest natural gas distribution company in Missouri, serving customers in St.
 Louis and surrounding counties in eastern Missouri.
     Based in Atlanta, Ga., Cellnet is the leading provider of real-time
 automated meter reading (AMR) and automation solutions to the utility
 industry. Cellnet supplies gas, water, and electric utilities with highly
 reliable, field-proven products that enable them to communicate with
 residential, commercial and industrial meters using wireless and IP network
 communications.
 
     Note: This news release contains forward-looking statements within the
 meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The
 Company's future operating results may be affected by various uncertainties
 and risk factors, many of which are beyond the Company's control, including
 weather conditions, governmental and regulatory policy and action, the
 competitive environment and economic factors. For a more complete description
 of these uncertainties and risk factors, see the Company's Form 10-Q for the
 year ended December 31, 2004, filed with the Securities and Exchange
 Commission.
 
 

SOURCE Laclede Gas Company

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