Despite the challenges of 2020, Itron continued its work toward our mission to create a more resourceful world. With steadfast resolve, our employees banded together to serve our customers – to improve the quality of life, ensure the safety and promote the well-being of people around the globe. This mission is more important than ever as COVID-19 continues to test our infrastructures, economies and humanity.   

Taking a look back at this unprecedented year, we made a number of accomplishments, and this positive momentum will carry us into 2021 and beyond. Here are some examples of how we continued to work toward our mission.

Addressing COVID-19
Since the onset of this global pandemic, Itron has remained committed to ensuring customer success, protecting the health and wellbeing of our employees, and supporting the communities where we live, work and play. Itron President and CEO Tom Deitrich stated that while there is no business as usual during this unique situation, we will continue to deliver the highest level of support and service possible to our customers and partners. To this end, we put processes in place to support business continuity while ensuring the health and safety of our essential team members in production and field operations, we revamped our project start/restart process to include additional precautions, and we saluted our customers and partners who are making an impact during this time.  

Making an Impact: Gas, Electricity and Water
Itron continued to provide even more value for our customers as they dealt with unprecedented storms, wildfires and a global pandemic. Our multi-application network platform supported diverse outcomes across AMI, grid management, smart streetlighting and smart communities. New Brunswick Power announced they will deploy Itron’s multi-purpose solution, including an IoT network and more than 350,000 Measurement Canada-approved distributed intelligence-enabled smart meters, to modernize its electricity grid. Itron and EDMI Limited, a global smart metering solutions leader, will collaborate to develop and launch a SMETS2-compliant gas meter for the United Kingdom, addressing the growing demand in the region by bringing to market a complete solution to safely and reliably manage natural gas delivery. New York State Public Service Commission affirmed its consent approval of the 550G Gas Encoder Receiver Transmitter module for use by the state’s gas utilities.

We also expanded our robust partner ecosystem, as demonstrated by the announcement of the completion of the first phase of our deployment of a wastewater management solution with Miami-Dade County Water & Sewer Department to mitigate regulatory issues, prevent sewer overflows, improve water quality and ensure safety for the public. Additionally, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power took a step to improve grid awareness and reduce operating costs, harnessing the power of intelligent connectivity at the edge by deploying Itron’s Industrial IoT network and Distribution Automation (DA) solution in order to modernize its grid.

Creating Smarter Cities
Cities around the world face significantly tighter budgets due to unexpected revenue declines as a result of the pandemic. Although budgets are shrinking, cities still need to provide services and economic opportunity as they begin the recovery process. These factors combined created a need for innovation.  Itron and Key Equipment Finance introduced a financing program for cities, helping alleviate financial barriers that prevent cities from investing in much needed technologies as they face budget shortfalls. Itron is driving innovation with CPS Energy, the City of San Antonio and other partners in a Smart Streetlight Technology program that will unlock efficiencies and build a foundation for smarter city services, while improving the quality of life for all residents.

Delivering Added Value to Customers
Itron is enabling utilities and communities to evolve distribution grid operations and enhance the customer experience with distributed intelligence (DI) through proven, innovative applications that are managing the active grid of today and tomorrow. Through multiple virtual DI lab tours with customers, we showcased use cases and applications in real-time, such as theft detection, high impedance detection, residential neutral fault detection, load disaggregation and location awareness. In the field, we are deploying DI applications on hundreds of thousands of endpoints. We also continued to expand the way we support our customers through Outcomes and value-added services. This includes expanding our Itron Private Cloud presence into Australia and Canada and growing our footprint in Europe and the United States.

Introducing the New Sales Channel Partner Program
Developed to empower a diverse group of channel partners, we unveiled the Itron Engage Sales Channel Partner Program. With this program, new and existing partners have access to tools, training and support for Itron’s solutions, which will equip them to extend the reach of Itron’s technology to the markets they serve around the globe. The program features a variety of increasing benefits, and rewards partners who exhibit both expertise across the entire portfolio and exceptional, consistent performance. Itron Engage is currently available in North America, and will roll out to Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa in late January, and to Asia Pacific in late Q1 2021.

Environmental and Social Governance
This summer, we released our 2019 Environmental Social Governance (ESG) Report, which highlights the company’s new framework for reporting on sustainability goals and commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Featuring expanded content and information on key policies, the report provides insights into Itron’s ESG practices in 2019 and plans for future initiatives. This is an important part of our reinvigorated ESG strategy, built around four key pillars: Environmental and Operational Stewardship; Solution Impact and Community Involvement; Diversity and Our Human Capital Pledge; and Effective Shareholder Advocacy.

Awards and Recognition
2020 was not without its celebrations – done virtually, of course. We were honored to be recognized for AMI Leadership in Asia-Pacific and received a 2020 IoT Evolution Product of the Year Award. Itron was selected as the winner of the “Public Safety Solution of the Year” award for the second consecutive year in the annual IoT Breakthrough Awards program – this year for our jointly developed  natural gas detector with New Cosmos and Con Edison. We were also named the winner of a Gold Stevie Award in the Industrial Products & Services category in the 18th Annual American Business Awards.

Our customers were also recognized for their innovation and commitment to creating a more resourceful world. We awarded the second annual Itron Innovator Award to Australian energy utility Western Power for its Smart Lab in Perth, Western Australia, and Frost & Sullivan announced CPS Energy and BRK Ambiental as the recipients of the fifth annual Excellence in Resourcefulness Awards.

Itron Utility Week Went Virtual
With the safety of attendees in mind, we decided to host our premier, customer-focused event, Itron Utility Week, virtually for the first time ever. Through the online format, we were all still able to connect, share ideas, learn from one another and empower innovation virtually – while celebrating record registration! Following the conference, we announced the new name for our event moving forward: Itron Inspire. You can still expect the same great industry connections, thought leadership and valuable insights that you’ve come to expect from this event in the past.

Itron is grateful for the opportunity to do the important work we do to serve our customers and their communities. I look forward to an innovative (and hopefully somewhat normal “business as usual”) 2021.

Happy New Year!

Marina Donovan
Vice President, Global Marketing and Public Affairs - Itron
Marina Donovan has more than 20 years of global technology marketing and public relations experience with a background in data security, networking and mobile. She joined Itron as vice president of global marketing and public affairs in January 2018. Prior to joining Itron, she was vice president of marketing for Silver Spring Networks.