Houston, TX, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- January 25, 2008 – The Structure Group®, a provider of strategic business consulting services for major energy-market companies, has announced the formation of a new ‘AMI/MDM – SmartGrid’ consulting practice. Structure’s AMI/MDM – SmartGrid practice is a team of experienced professionals who can provide consulting, design, implementation and integration services for a full spectrum of smart grid systems, components, and applications.

“The Energy Policy Act, growing government pressure, and an ever-increasing sense of urgency around energy conservation and environmental sustainability are driving the need for advanced metering and the systems that support the collection and analysis of data from smart meters,” said David Shepheard, Structure Principal and Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development. “Although the first large-scale smart grids are still several years away, they must begin with a comprehensive and carefully thought out road map.

“In addition to comprehensive AMI/MDM – SmartGrid expertise, Structure offers in-depth knowledge in energy trading and risk management, utility asset management, grid operations and optimization, and ISO market solutions. This broad energy industry expertise allows us to take a holistic view in creating a smart grid roadmap, and that’s going to offer bigger benefits for energy distributors, suppliers and consumers.”

Two new executives have joined Structure to support the new practice. Eric Smith has been appointed Director of the AMI/MDM – SmartGrid practice group, and Gary W. Murphy has been appointed Director in Structure’s Consulting Business Unit with primary responsibility for business development and client support in transmission and distribution, with a focus on AMI/MDM, SmartGrid, and Asset Management.

Eric Smith has more than 20 years of utility and AMR/AMI product experience, and was a founding member of the Automatic Meter Reading Association. He has provided guidance to leading distribution utilities across North America on AMI, MDM and smart grid strategies and designs.

Prior to joining The Structure Group, Smith served as Senior Vice President and Enterprise Technology Practice Lead for Gestalt-LLC. He also served in senior management positions with Silver Spring Networks, a leading network communications vendor, and IMServ, a diversified provider of AMI implementation services and contract metering solutions. His career in metering began at American Meter, where he was Director of Marketing for Automated Systems.

Gary Murphy also comes to Structure from Gestalt-LLC, where he supported the start-up of the company’s Energy and Utility practice and also served as Senior Vice President and Co-Lead of the AMI/MDM-Smart Grid Practice. Murphy has more than 20 years of experience in the energy and utility industry, beginning at PECO Energy’s (now Exelon) nuclear program where he was intimately involved in reinventing PECO’s approach to managing its nuclear facilities. He was then appointed to head up the reengineering of PECO’s gas and electric T&D business. Murphy was later asked to co-lead the start-up of Exelon’s unregulated T&D construction and service business, InfraSource, where he began his utility consulting career.