Kokusai Kogyo Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of leading solar and green community developer Japan Asia Group (JAG), jointly with Yamaman Co., Ltd. has launched a new service that helps customers, in this case residents of Yukarigaoka1 with home energy management systems (HEMS) 2, find the cheapest and/or most suitable electricity supplier for their needs. This service was launched in June 2015 and comes as Japan is readying itself for deregulation of the electricity supply market. Proprietary technology of Kokusai Kogyo (patent no. 5717113), the service utilizes the actual energy consumption data obtained by the HEMS to pinpoint which power utility will provide the optimal service. While other companies provide similar services, so far, it seems, these are only based on monitoring via interview surveys.
Yukarigaoka developer, Yamaman, with the help of Kokusai Kogyo, is now providing its customers, who purchased houses with HEMS at Yukarigaoka (since 2011), with detailed diagnostic results about which electricity utility plan will be most economical for their circumstances, based on their actual energy usage data obtained via the HEMS. This after-sales support service is one way Yamaman is striving to maximize the effectiveness of its home energy management systems.
In April 2016, Japan will deregulate retail of electricity to households and small-scale business operators, a 7.5 trillion yen (approximately US 61 billion dollar) market. Opening up of this market—which when combined with the already liberalized retail electricity market to large-scale users, equates to a market of over 20 trillion yen—to new entrants is expected to lead to severe competition for customers. This is also expected to further increase competition in the large-scale user electricity retail market and the renewable energy generation market.
At Japan Asia Group, and Kokusai Kogyo in particular, we are investing significant effort to strengthen our range of renewable energy, energy saving, and electricity retail market-focused services and solutions to ensure we can make the most of the opportunity presented by this market liberalization. Of course, one aspect of this effort will be investigating how best to expand this initiative at Yurigaoka based on actual field trials over the next two months—to the wider market.