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Singapore households can use smart electricity meters from next year

Singapore households can use smart electricity meters from next year
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A joint response on March 13 from the Energy Market Authority (EMA;EMA is responsible for the reliable supply of electricity to consumers, as well as the operation of the power system in Singapore), the Public Utilities Board (PUB; the Singapore government’s water agency) and SP (Singapore Power) group to a reader query in Today newspaper, revealed that all electricity consumers in Singapore, including households, will have the option of using smart meters from next year. In addition, in the second half of 2018, full Retail Competition will be launched by the EMA to enable all electricity consumers to choose their electricity retailers. At the moment, only ‘contestable’ consumers, decided on the basis of an average threshold monthly consumption can choose customised plans from electrcity retailers.

Smart electricity meters have already been deployed for business consumers who are buying electricity from electricity retailers of their choice. For these contestable consumers, their existing meters are replaced by Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) meters or Smart Meters to measure and remotely read their half-hourly consumption. Small contestable consumers are allowed to switch back any of their commercial & industrial accounts to be non-contestable and buy electricity from SPS at the regulated tariff, based on aggregate Average Monthly electricity Consumption (AMC) over the past 12 months for all the consumer’s accounts.

EMA, PUB, and SP Group are also embarking on a pilot scheme to extend smart metering for water supply and town gas, leveraging on the existing automated meter reading system for electricity meters to cover water and town gas meters. The trial is intended to ascertain the performance and viability, including cost effectiveness of the smart metering solution for water and gas in our local conditions, before considering any large-scale deployment.

The initiative will include the development of a mobile application to provide timely, useful information to consumers on their utilities consumption. This will help customers to better manage their energy and water consumption, and reduce their utility bills.

In the meantime, SP Group will continue to provide consumers with relevant information to manage their utilities consumption via their monthly utilities bill and the mobile application.

In October 2016, EMA, PUB and SP Group (then Singapore Power) issued a Call for Proposals (CFP) to develop technical solutions for a smart metering trial, stating that most of the electricity meters in Singapore are cumulative meters, read once every two months manually, together with gas and water meters. Interested parties were invited to develop and trial smart solutions for remotely reading all three meters reliably and cost-effectively. The press release also mentioned the development of a mobile application of consumers as part of the trial. Funding was to be provided by SPRING’s Capability Development Grant based on eligiblity of the participating companies.

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