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Southeast Alabama Gas District Selects TRACE(R) VRT Automated Meter Reading (AMR) Technology from AMCO Automated Systems; TRACE VRT Offers Cost-Effective Automation with Virtual Real Time Readings.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- AMCO Automated Systems, LLC announces that The Southeast Alabama Gas District (SEAGD), in Andalusia, Alabama is installing the TRACE VRT automated meter reading (AMR) system. The TRACE VRT (virtual real time) system is a two-way radio frequency (RF) mobile communication AMR solution designed for commercial and residential meter reading applications. SEAGD selected the TRACE VRT system to automate their residential and commercial gas meters based on the ease of installation and product reliability. The system deployment is expected to be completed over a three year period with installation beginning later this summer.

Southeast Alabama Gas District is installing approximately 30,000 Transponders or meter interface units and new American Meter gas meters throughout their territory, which includes 14 member towns located in 32 communities. The TRACE VRT Transponder is being installed in conjunction with a meter replacement program on their residential and small commercial meters. SEAGD expects to see improvements in utility operations and customer satisfaction by reading the majority of their meter system automatically.

"We selected AMCO Automated Systems because they offered the most cost-effective way to automate our residential and small commercial gas meters," stated Steve Duebelt, information services manager of Southeast Alabama Gas District. "The ability to collect 35 days of history will streamline our utility operations and improve customer service. In the future, we are considering using the non-intrusive read-in and read-out process, as well as, the time-of-use feature."

"We are pleased that Southeast Alabama Gas District selected TRACE VRT as their total AMR solution," stated Richard Harshaw, sales and marketing director of AMCO Automated Systems, LLC. "The TRACE VRT solution provides SEAGD with the billing reads typical of mobile AMR system but with TRACE VRT they have the additional benefits of virtual real time readings and two-way RF communications. Our system offers them the flexibility to adapt applications to meet the changing needs of their customers."

The TRACE VRT solution processes and stores virtual real-time readings at the meter Transponder for selective retrieval during a normal in-cycle read. TRACE VRT Transponders are addressed individually by serial number, followed by a series of commands to retrieve specific historical data. The Transponder stored historical data includes 35 days of daily readings and up to four time-of-use readings. The TRACE VRT system is a complete system comprised of meter transponders, hand-held and or vehicle-mounted interrogators and host software that integrate utility CIS systems with metering equipment installed in the field.

About AMCO Automated Systems, LLC (

AMCO Automated Systems, LLC, a subsidiary within Ruhrgas Industries, specializes in the design, development and manufacture of mobile Automated Meter Reading solutions for commercial and residential applications. AMCO Automated Systems, located in Raleigh, North Carolina, offers the TRACE VRT (virtual real time) family of metering automation products, including the TRACE VRT Transponder, the Compact Mini-Mobile Interrogator and Route Manager VRT Software. Nearly four million gas and water TRACE and TRACE VRT Transponders have been shipped in North America. AMCO Automated Systems invests in the development of innovative products and services to provide the very best value in automated meter reading technology.

About Southeast Alabama Gas District (

The Southeast Alabama Gas District (SEAGD) is a public corporation created on January 29, 1952, under Act Number 762, General Laws of Alabama. It was established to provide natural gas to approximately 30,000 domestic, commercial and industrial customers located in 32 communities in the southeast portion of the state. SEAGD services a transmission system 753 miles in length and a distribution system consisting of 1219 miles, which reaches 16 counties in the southeast quadrant of Alabama.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 13, 2005
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