Boston, MA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- December 12, 2007 - ZigBee networking system provider Ember and Itron have teamed up to provide a ZigBee-enabled peak load demand and energy management solution.

Itron has integrated Ember's ZigBee technology into its OpenWayTM Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) platform. Specifically, Itron's OpenWay CENTRON smart meters are embedded with Ember's ZigBee chips and the EmberZNet PRO networking software platform to provide a two-way communication pathway to the home for energy load control and demand response. The technology enables homeowners to make more informed decisions about their energy usage and promotes energy conservation.

The OpenWay CENTRON meters serve as a gateway for Home Area Networks (HANs) of wireless devices such as ZigBee thermostats, load control devices, in-home displays, and smart appliances, in addition to supporting time-of-use pricing, load profile data and other advanced features required for "Smart Grid" initiatives.

"Studies show that demand response programs can reduce peak electricity demand by five percent over the next five years, saving consumers more than $3 billion in annual electricity costs," said Dennis Natale, Ember's director of sales for the Americas. "Moreover, they can help reduce the $50-$100 billion in losses that businesses suffer each year due to power outages and brownouts. AMI solutions like OpenWay will help consumers and utilities work as a team to conserve energy and make the grid work more efficiently."