C & C Technology Limited has been awarded the Federation of Hong Kong Industries Consumer Product Design Award for its smart meter which will change a method that has been in place in the utilities industry for the last 100 years. 'We are overwhelmed to receive this award and appreciate the judges for their enthusiasm, understanding and interest in our product,' said Derek Choi, managing director. This was the first year C & C had entered the awards and it was not sure whether or not to do so due to the nature of its product. 'We didn't expect to get the award. Our product is innovative and helps the community but we didn't think it was a pure consumer product,' Mr Choi said. C & C's main business is in the research, development, design, manufacturing and marketing of its Interactive Control and Evaluation (ICE) System for the utilities industry. Motivated by global deregulation and with an emphasis on cost-effective methods of operation and revenue generation, C & C has developed the ICE smart meter to assist the utilities industry. 'The system introduces hi-tech electronic metering that allows remote communication,' Mr Choi said. 'We believe it will be very successful.' The ICE system is a utility control and management network that uses advanced electronic communication and computer processing technologies. With the ICE system, data is directly transferred from the power meter via standard power line cables to a central database where data is processed electronically. This allows for consolidation of measurements, data collection, billing, statistical analysis and system control functions into one integrated network. 'We believe this product will change the method of operation in utilities companies that has been in place for the last 100 years,' Mr Choi said. 'The ICE system is accurate, dependable and efficient. Exact meter readings and instant transfer and updating of data is possible as we have eliminated the need for meter readers and room for human error.' ICE smart meters are installed at each power subscriber's location to measure, record and transmit the subscriber's consumption information. The data is transmitted back to the central database periodically or on request. Designed and developed by the company's engineers, the system's functions are integrated into two ASIC chips. The system's main features include full electronic metering, automated meter reading, remote user power supply connection and disconnection, flexible billing methods, power safeguard, time-of-use billing, individual load control, power theft detection and control, and statistical and management software. C & C has been developing the system for several years. The firm believes that this is one of the reasons it won the award. 'The ICE system is the result of three to four years of hard work,' Mr Choi said. 'It is good to be recognised by the industry and to develop a product that can help the community.' The company believes that recognition of a product is one of the best ways to ensure the future of the product. 'We entered the awards as they are well- known in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. The recognition we received will help us promote and market our product,' Mr Choi said. 'It is also nice to have recognition for the achievements of our engineers and staff.'