OSAKA - Panasonic Corp. will enter the smart electricity metering business with U.S. technology firm Itron Inc. in an effort to turn around its profitability in the area with growth potential, corporate sources said Friday.
Panasonic will take part in Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s bidding in fiscal 2013 for smart meters, which are designed to save electricity through advanced communication systems, the sources said.
Panasonic is expected to agree with Itron on the business alliance as early as next week, the sources said, adding that the Osaka-headquartered maker will aim to generate annual sales of at least 20 billion yen in the initial stage, they said.
New Panasonic brand smart meters will be sold by combining its communication systems, which send electricity consumption and other data to the utility, with Itron's power measuring equipment, according to the sources.
Tokyo Electric is planning to install smart meters for all of its some 27 million contractors, including households, offices and factories, in the 10 years from fiscal 2014.