Singapore's EMA Launches Pilot Programme to Help Consumers Optimise Energy Consumption

It was announced by Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran at the Singapore International Energy Week 2016.

Singapore, 24 Oct 2016

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with 16 partners for a pilot programme to optimise energy consumption by managing their demand. This pilot, known as Project OptiWatt, is about demand-side management (DSM). It was announced by Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran at the Singapore International Energy Week 2016.

2. Through DSM, energy consumption can be shifted from peak to non-peak hours. This reduces the maximum load that the energy system needs to cater to, yielding 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 $1.6 million.

3. The objective of Project OptiWatt is to test the viability of DSM initiatives. This includes looking into relevant technologies and business models, as well as understanding consumer behaviour. The project partners comprise Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), government agencies, companies, electricity retailers, research institutions and the electricity grid operator. See ANNEX for the list of partners.

4. These partners will explore ways to adjust their energy consumption patterns to reduce the burden on the energy system:

i) Institutes of Higher Learning
Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic and the Institute of Technical Education will explore DSM initiatives to better manage energy consumption on their campuses. The project will also have an educational purpose: the learning points and relevant research can be incorporated into the education curriculum for the students.

Energy Research Institute @ Nanyang Technological University (ERI@N) and ENGIE Lab Singapore have developed the PowerZee mobile app to reduce energy use through user engagement and gamification. NTU’s eco-campus piloted the app with 1,850 students, who provided feedback on indoor temperatures to enable real-time, data-driven air-conditioning adjustments. Students were also taught "eco-gestures", enabling them to take an active role in direct electricity savings. More of such innovative initiatives will be explored with Project OptiWatt partners.

ii) Government agencies
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and JTC will explore initiatives for shifting their electricity demand from peak to non-peak hours.
As an initial trial, A*STAR has successfully shifted about 0.3-0.4MW of electricity load without affecting its operations. This was done by adjusting the timing of its washers and sterilisers to operate outside the system peak period (11am to 2pm).

iii) Companies and electricity retailers
Electricity retailers Diamond Energy Merchants Pte Ltd, Red Dot Power (formerly CPvT Energy Asia) Pte Ltd, and Seraya Energy Pte Ltd will explore DSM initiatives with participating companies and consumers.

Diamond Energy Merchants Pte Ltd will work with participating companies on Demand Response[1] and Interruptible Load[2] programmes. Air Liquide Singapore Pte Ltd, Applied Materials South East Asia Pte Ltd and Eltek Power Pte Ltd have come on board to explore such opportunities to participate in the energy market.

Red Dot Power (RDP) eResponse Program is an incentive scheme that pays participating consumers to voluntarily reduce electricity consumption during identified periods. A preliminary trial was conducted at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) to explore how consumption can be reduced to respond to real-time system conditions such as high prices or contingency events. The trial found that the electricity load of chillers – amounting to about 7 percent of NYP’s total consumption – can be curtailed for up to half an hour with minimal impact on the comfort level of users on the premises.

iv) Electricity grid operator
SP PowerAssets Limited, a subsidiary of Singapore Power, will explore how DSM technologies and initiatives can be incorporated into the grid network planning process. Reduction in peak demand can help to better manage the costs to expand the grid network and resource needs such as land.

5. Mr Clarence Ti, Principal of Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP), shared that this will open up opportunities for IHLs to work with industry experts to develop innovative ways and applications to optimise energy consumption. He said: “It will certainly bring new impetus to NP’s ongoing programme to reduce our electricity usage by 15 percent, and boost our efforts in further engaging the campus community in sustainable practices.”

6. On the announcement of Project OptiWatt, Mr Ng Wai Choong, Chief Executive of EMA, said: "EMA is pleased to collaborate with our partners to optimise energy consumption by proactively managing their energy demand. I look forward to the success of Project OptiWatt in demonstrating the benefits of energy demand management through consumer engagement."