Consumers Energy Chooses Elster's EnergyAxis(R) For Smart Grid Field Pilot

- Program to evaluate energy efficiency, outage management, cost savings -

Mar 02, 2010, 08:00 ET from Elster

RALEIGH, N.C., March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Elster announced today that Consumers Energy, a major Michigan utility, has selected Elster's EnergyAxis® Smart Grid solution as part of a pilot program to evaluate cutting edge Smart Grid technologies.

Consumers Energy plans to install Elster's EnergyAxis residential and commercial smart meters as part of its Smart Grid pilot program this spring and plans to use the results of that program to help shape its future Smart Grid investment decisions.

"After seeing the successful large scale deployments of EnergyAxis with other utilities, and testing it extensively in our labs, we are looking forward to seeing how the EnergyAxis solution will perform in our system and how this technology could support our efforts to provide efficient and cost-effective service to customers," said Wayne Longcore, Consumers Energy's director of enterprise architecture and standards.

EnergyAxis, a field-proven Smart Grid solution with more than 3.5 million endpoints deployed with utilities across North America, enables utilities to:

  • Realize operational efficiencies;
  • Implement demand response programs that can conserve resources and reduce costs, especially during periods of peak demand;
  • Improve customer service;
  • Reduce outage response and repair time;
  • Provide real-time information to end consumers to allow them to better manage their energy consumption; and,
  • Conserve environmental and economic resources by reducing the loss of electricity, gas and water as they move from the supply source to homes and businesses.

"Smart Grids will enable natural resource conservation, improve the way utilities operate their distribution systems and provide new options which empower consumers to manage their energy usage," said Mark L. Munday, president and CEO, Elster, North America. "Elster has an established track record of delivering reliable, innovative solutions to our customers and we look forward to showcasing our technology to an industry pioneer like Consumers Energy."

In addition to the pilot program, Consumers Energy's Smart Services Learning Center (SSLC) also is testing a variety of state-of-the-art Elster Smart Grid technologies. Located at the utility's Jackson Service Center, the SSLC includes a 2,500 square-foot facility that tests and demonstrates how Smart Grid technology will improve service and convenience for consumers and can help them conserve energy and save money.

About Consumers Energy

Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), provides natural gas and electricity to nearly 6.5 million of Michigan's 10 million residents in all 68 of Michigan's Lower Peninsula counties. For more information about Consumers Energy, please visit

About Elster

Elster is one of the world's largest providers of electricity, gas and water meters, and related communications, networking and software solutions which are key components for enabling energy efficiency and conservation. Its products and solutions are widely used by customers in the manual-read meter and Smart Grid markets.

Elster has one of the most extensive installed meter bases in the world, with more than 200 million metering devices deployed over the course of the last 10 years. It sells its products and services in more than 130 countries across electricity, gas, water and multi-utility applications for residential, commercial and industrial customers. With a heritage of more than 170 years of providing metering solutions, Elster enjoys a reputation as a leading innovator and plays an important role in shaping industry standards with respect to performance, reliability, accuracy and functionality.

Elster (formerly Ruhrgas Industries) was acquired by funds advised by CVC Capital Partners from the German utility group E.ON in September 2005. In 2008, Elster generated revenues of euro 1.3 billion, or $1.9 billion.

For more information about Elster, please visit