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NorthWestern Announces Advanced Metering Project in South Dakota and Nebraska; $34.7 Million Upgrade Will Improve Service Reliability

Apr 03, 2018

Butte, Mont. – April 4, 2018 – NorthWestern Energy today announced a broad initiative that will bring advanced metering technology to its electric and natural gas customers in South Dakota and Nebraska.

The Advanced Metering Infrastructure project (AMI) represents a $34.7 million investment in modern energy technology on the part of NorthWestern Energy. The project will include the installation of nearly 65,000 updated electric meters and upgrades to about 48,000 gas meters in South Dakota and close to 44,000 gas meters in Nebraska.

“This is an exciting project for NorthWestern Energy,” said Curt Pohl, vice president, Distribution. “We have been making significant investments in technology across the company and I’m very confident that our investment in advanced metering will help us provide even better service reliability to our customers in South Dakota and Nebraska.”

The upgraded meters will provide improved communication between NorthWestern and its natural gas and electric metering infrastructure that serves homes and businesses in South Dakota and Nebraska. This technology will help us to better manage a customer’s overall energy needs, more quickly respond to customer inquiries and act more quickly to restore power during outages.

The upgraded meters will allow NorthWestern employees to automatically read meters, resulting in more up-to-date information when responding to customer questions about usage and billing. The state-of-the-art equipment will eliminate the need for NorthWestern employees to access customer property to read meters.

“At NorthWestern, we take pride in providing excellent customer service,” said Bobbi Schroeppel, vice president, Customer Care, Communication and Human Resources. “These advanced meters will provide near real-time information about customers’ energy usage, allowing us to be more helpful when customers contact us. I am confident that our customer service will be even better with this upgrade.”

The meters will also pinpoint electric outage locations, allowing for faster response and power restoration. Improving service reliability and power quality is a prime goal of the AMI project.

Planning and design work on the AMI project has been under way for several years. Actual meter installation will begin later this year, with completion expected in 2019.

NorthWestern Energy is working with Itron, a world-leading technology and services company dedicated to the resourceful use of energy and water, on this extensive project. Based in Liberty Lake, WA, Itron’s product portfolio includes electricity, natural gas, water and thermal energy measurement devices and control technology, communication systems and software, as well as consulting services. Itron has nearly 8,000 customers in more than 100 countries.

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About NorthWestern Energy (NYSE: NWE)
NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 709,600 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. More information on NorthWestern Energy is available on the company's website at www.northwesternenergy.com.  


Media Contact:     
Butch Larcombe
(866) 622-8081
butch.larcombe@northwestern.com

Community Contact:     
Tom Glanzer
(877) 410-0154
tom.glanzer@northwestern.com

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