Government to run smart metering trial for electricity, water and gas

SIAU MING EN Today Online 24 Oct 16;

SINGAPORE — In the future, a quick tap of the phone could tell you if you are using too much electricity or water each month.

The authorities are calling for proposals to trial a system that can read electricity, gas and water meters remotely so that consumers can use such data to better manage their consumption patterns.

In a media statement released on Monday (Oct 24), the Energy Market Authority, national water agency PUB and the Singapore Power said they were issuing a call for proposals to develop technical solutions for a smart metering trial.

“This trial is aimed at enabling electricity, gas and water meters to be read remotely, and providing more timely usage data to consumers to help them better manage their utility consumption,” the agencies said in the joint statement.

At present, most of the electricity meters are cumulative ones that are read manually once every two months, together with the gas and water meters. The call for proposal will have parties develop and trial smart solutions that can remotely read all three meters reliably and cost-effectively.

In addition, interested parties will also have to develop a mobile application to provide consumers with timely information on their electricity, water and gas consumption through their mobile phones and tablets. This will improve consumers’ awareness of their consumption patterns, the agencies said.

Interested parties have till February next year to submit their proposals and more details will be available on SPRING’s website from Nov 2.

Chief Executive of EMA Ng Wai Choong noted that with more timely information, hopefully consumers will be able to better manage their energy and water consumption and hence, reduce their utility bills.

It was announced in August that the utilities bill has been redesigned to help residents track and reduce energy and water consumption. The layout allows consumers to view their utility usage, and compare it against the average consumption of their neighbours living in similar housing types or streets, among other things.

Singapore Power’s Group Chief Executive Officer Wong Kim Yin noted that the trial would build on the smart electricity metering system Singapore is deploying island-wide, to help consumers save energy and cost.

“The next-generation solutions will complement initiatives like the redesigned utilities bill and our public education programmes to encourage everyone to make energy-saving a way of life,” he added.


App to help households gauge energy use slated for 2018 trial
SIAU MING EN Today Online 24 Oct 16;

SINGAPORE — In two years, a quick tap on your phone could tell you if you are using too much electricity, gas or water each month.

The authorities are calling for proposals to develop technical solutions for a smart metering trial that can read electricity, gas and water meters remotely so that consumers can use such data to better manage their consumption patterns.

Interested parties have to develop and test solutions that can remotely read all three meters reliably and cost-effectively at half-hour intervals. They will also have to develop a mobile application to provide consumers with timely information on their electricity, water and gas consumption through their mobile phones and tablets.

“This trial is aimed at enabling electricity, gas and water meters to be read remotely, and providing more timely usage data to consumers to help them better manage their utility consumption,” the Energy Market Authority, national water agency PUB and the Singapore Power said on Monday (Oct 24) in a joint statement.

The interested parties have till February next year to submit their proposals, and more details will be available on Spring’s website on Nov 2. The trial is expected to start in early 2018 and will run for six months.

In his opening remarks at the Singapore International Energy Week held at Marina Bay Sands on Monday, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran said the trial results will help the authorities assess whether and how they can deploy advanced metering solutions nationwide, which is in tandem with plans to have full retail contestability in the electricity market by 2018. In a fully contestable market, consumers could choose whether to buy from electricity retailers under customised price plans, or from wholesale electricity markets.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the event, Mr Iswaran said: “If you’re able to know your energy consumption, your water consumption, your gas consumption, if you’re allowed to access the information through a mobile platform, it allows you to then heed price signals, take appropriate actions and with a more contestable electricity market, it also means you have more flexibility in the kinds of contracts you choose as well.”

At present, most electricity meters are read manually once every two months, together with the gas and water meters, and show cumulative data. Only contestable consumers — currently large consumers like commercial building owners — are using a smart electricity metering system.

Smaller-scale trials with households have been conducted in the past, including one in 2012 where smart meters were installed in some 1,900 households in Punggol as part of the EMA’s Intelligent Energy System (IES) Pilot. Some households also received an in-home display unit that provides real-time information about their electricity consumption.

Some residents of Yuhua, designated a smart town by the authorities, are also testing a Utilities Management System that can help households monitor energy and water usage through a mobile application.

Asked about takeaways from the Punggol and Yuhua trials, EMA director of Market Development and Surveillance Department Soh Sai Bor said the IES was an “initial effort”. The Punggol trial provided “useful learning points” for the current platform for contestable consumers, which has seen close to 90,000 advanced meters installed, he added without elaborating.

As for whether he was encouraged by the outcomes, Mr Soh said these are “little efforts” that put together will have bigger impact. “So everyone has a part to play, a few per cent here and there will certainly help to mitigate the need to invest in more energy infrastructure to meet demand growth,” he said.

Speaking to TODAY, executive director at the Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University Subodh Mhaisalkar noted that you “cannot improve what you cannot measure”. Consumers here, he added, are already used to such systems, such as those who use apps to monitor their mobile data consumption.

He suggested that the new smart metering system have features that provide feedback or nudge users whenever they exceed certain usage limits, to be more effective in changing consumer behaviour.


Wanted: Solutions that will help consumers better manage utility use
Channel NewsAsia 24 Oct 16;

SINGAPORE: To help households better manage their energy consumption, Singapore is exploring a trial to allow electricity, gas and water meters to be read remotely and provide consumers with more timely usage data.

On Monday (Oct 24), the Energy Market Authority (EMA), national water agency PUB and Singapore Power issued a call for proposals to develop technical solutions to enable this smart metering trial.

Most of the electricity meters in Singapore are cumulative meters, and are read once every two months manually together with gas and water meters.

The call is for interested parties to develop and trial smart solutions for remotely reading all three meters reliably and in a cost-effective manner, they said.

The trial also includes the development of a mobile application to provide consumers with timely and useful information on their electricity, water and gas consumption. "This will enhance consumers’ awareness of their consumption patterns," the agencies said.

Details of the call for proposals will be made available on SPRING’s website on Nov 2. The deadline for submissions is midnight on Feb 1, 2017. Eligible companies will get funding support from SPRING’s Capability Development Grant.

PILOT TO OPTIMISE ENERGY USE

In a separate announcement on Monday, the EMA said it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with 16 partners for a pilot programme to optimise energy consumption by managing their demand.

The pilot, named Project OptiWatt, was announced by Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran at the Singapore International Energy Week 2016.

According to EMA, energy consumption can be shifted from peak to non-peak hours. This reduces the maximum load that the energy system needs to cater to, which could result in system-wide benefits.

Based on a study by Professor Frank A Wolak, Director of the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development in Stanford University, every megawatt reduction of peak demand in Singapore could translate to system-wide savings of about S$1.6 million, EMA added.

The 16 partners include:

Institutes of Higher Learning
1. Institute of Technical Education
2. Nanyang Polytechnic
3. Ngee Ann Polytechnic
4. Temasek Polytechnic
Government Agencies
5. Agency for Science, Technology and Research
6. JTC Corporation
Electricity Retailers
7. Diamond Energy Merchants Pte Ltd
8. Red Dot Power
9. Seraya Energy
Companies
10. Air Liquide Singapore
11. Applied Materials South East Asia
12. Eltek Power
Research Institutions
13. ENGIE Lab Singapore
14. Nanyang Technological University [Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N)]
15. Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (Professor Frank A. Wolak from Stanford University)
Electricity Grid Operator
16. SP PowerAssets
- CNA/kk

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