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I had the extreme pleasure of representing the IURPA at the Metering Americas 2004 conference, held in San Diego, California. This was the third such conference I’ve attended, and it was by far the best. It provided an excellent forum to discuss revenue protection issues with utilities and vendors from around the world. IURPA, being an international organisation, gained valuable contacts with attendees from Latin America, Europe, Canada, Africa and the Middle East. Since this conference I have been able to provide technical assistance to a variety of utilities addressing revenue protection issues.

I had the opportunity to give a presentation on AMR as a Tool to enhance your Revenue Protection Program. The presentation addressed the issues and concerns of revenue protection professionals whose utilities now use AMR. It is important that all utilities incorporate a strategy that includes the revenue protect departments in the planning phase of an AMR installation to maximise the benefits, rather than thinking of the benefits of a good revenue protection strategy after implementation.

TRAINING MATTERS

To keep abreast of the rapidly changing technology in the metering industry, the revenue protection regional groups in the US are planning a variety of training conferences. These conferences provide excellent value for both utilities and vendors.

Midwest Energy Theft Association (META)
The META conference is being held May 18-20 in Kansas City, Missouri, and will be hosted by Kansas City Power & Light. Information will be presented on benchmarking (PA Consulting); data mining (Itron); fighting e-commerce fraud (Digital River) and meter tampering (Landis+Gyr). Issues addressing the theft of electricity, gas, water, and cable television will also be addressed.

South Central & Southeastern Utilities Revenue Protection Conference (SCRPA/SURPA)
The SCRPA/SURPA conference is being held June 15-18 in Gulfport, Mississippi. The conference agenda includes presentations on cost justifying a revenue protection programme, philosophy on back billing techniques, workplace violence and field investigator safety, and AMR and revenue protection

International Utilities Revenue Protection Association (IURPA)/Western States Utility Theft Association (WSUTA) Joint Conference
This is the granddaddy of them all! The 2004 IURPA/WSUTA conference is scheduled for August 25-27 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Speakers from utilities in Israel, the United Kingdom, Latin America, and Canada have been invited. Certification programmes are scheduled related to the rebilling of accounts due to theft, and utility theft in the C&I customer segment. This is a conference you won’t want to miss.