San Diego, CA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- March 12, 2012 - The 13th Metering, Billing/MDM America gets under way today at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, CA.

Coming at a time of something of a hiatus in the industry, with many utilities well under way with their smart meter rollouts but encountering increasingly widespread consumer resistance and being obliged to consider opt-out options, the event is focused on unlocking the value and proving the ROI of AMI.

The first day comprises a number of workshops on themes including building a solid business case, managing the RFP process, implementing a smart meter deployment plan, and engaging customers across the lifecycle.

The event formally opens Tuesday with a keynote by Jessie Knight Jr., chairman and CEO of San Diego Gas & Electric, the event’s host utility. Thereafter, it breaks into multiple tracks covering metering, MDM/billing and customer engagement, and the Water Meter Summit.

The final day will feature several in depth panel discussions, focusing on smart meter data protection, trends in interoperability and standards, and third party access and its role in customer engagement.

Among the highlights are a panel focused on AMI deployments around the world, with countries featuring including the UK and Brazil, and Mike Niggli, president and COO of SDG&E will present a closing keynote on how his company is enhancing customer opportunities through smart grid and renewable energy development.

Metering International will also announce the winners of its Excellence Awards for 2012 on Tuesday March 13, with winners in four categories – Smart Utility, Smart Water Utility, Customer Engagement, and Technology Innovation.