For cities and utilities, it can be challenging to ensure the safety of citizens especially when natural disasters occur. Incidents such as hurricanes, floods, fires and gas leaks are unpredictable and often impossible to prevent. In advance of the AGA Operations Conference and Biennial Exhibition, we will discuss how Itron’s technology is enabling the safe, reliable and efficient delivery of natural gas in a series of blog posts.

In this first blog, we are focusing on how natural gas utilities can deliver safety to their customers amid natural disasters. To ensure that natural gas utilities are equipped to proactively provide a safe response to these events, Itron developed the award-winning Intelis gas meter, which is creating a safer world through connected metrology on the Active Network.

In areas with large numbers of people, it is vital for utilities to be able to monitor potential hazards to keep customers safe. With a built-in high flow alarm and temperature sensor, Itron’s smart gas meter can quickly recognize an open fuel line, heat or unusual flow conditions. In the case of a fire or open fuel line, the meter will detect the potentially dangerous situation and send an alert to the utility.

To provide greater safety for utility workers and first responders, the Intelis gas meter also has an integrated safety shutoff valve, which will virtually stop the flow of natural gas in the instance of an open fuel line or fire. Utility workers are usually the first to arrive on the scene when a leak or unusual situation is detected in the gas network, so it is vital to ensure their safety. With remote safety shut-off, the utility can prevent hazardous conditions for workers.

In addition to workforce protection, utilities can temporarily shutoff gas service ahead of natural disasters. Utilities can manage flow to impacted areas before flooding and other hazardous situations occur that may cause gas meters and appliances to become displaced and potentially cause free flowing gas at customer sites. With smart meters like Intelis, utilities are empowered to be proactive and enhance safety for citizens and their employees in new ways.

Utilities can proactively enhance safety with a network of connected smart meters like Intelis. See a demo at the 2019 AGA Operations Conference & Biennial Exhibition in Nashville, Tennessee by visiting us at booth 1011, and be sure to check the Itron blog on April 26 for the next blog in our series.

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Annette Gardiner
Vice President, Gas Strategic Development
Annette Gardiner joined Itron in September 2016 as its vice president of strategic development.
Prior to joining Itron, Annette held a number of leadership roles in the gas utility industry, including vice president of shared services at Consumers Energy and president of New Mexico Gas Company.