Sarnen, Switzerland --- (METERING.COM) --- June 30, 2008 – UK-based metering services provider National Grid Metering has signed an R&D agreement with Xemtec AG for the joint design and development of various OCR-based smart metering devices customized to meet National Grid Metering’s needs.

The Xemtec devices, offering a non-invasive, easy-to-deploy optical interface based on the proprietary Xemtec Retina opto-asic chip, will be used by National Grid Metering to interface to existing mechanical register meters in the field, thereby providing a cost-effective means to enable smart metering functionality while protecting existing meter assets.

Xemtec AG is an EN 13980-certified Swiss company serving utilities and systems integrators worldwide with a range of ATEX-certified products designed for efficient, fast and economical deployment of smart metering solutions. Xemtec was one of the prize winners of the Swiss Technology Award in 2007.

National Grid Metering is a subsidiary company of National Grid and provides metering and customer management services in the regulated gas metering market. National Grid currently owns around 18 million gas meters.