New app to help households gauge their energy use to be tested in 2018

A new app to allow residents to check their utility usage will begin testing in about two years.
A new app to allow residents to check their utility usage will begin testing in about two years.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Households will get to know how much water, electricity and gas they are using through a mobile application on their cellphones and tablets with a trial that will begin in about two years.

The Energy Market Authority (EMA), national water agency PUB and Singapore Power on Monday (Oct 24) called for proposals to develop and trial technologies that will allow for water, electricity and gas meters to be read remotely in a reliable and cost-effective way.

Currently, meters are only read manually once every two months.

The aim of the new trial is to save on manpower and help households reduce unnecessary use of utilities. The trial of the smart technologies will start in early 2018.

"This would allow consumers to make informed decisions on their consumption and conservation of utilities," said Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran on Monday, at the opening ceremony of the 9th Singapore International Energy Week held at Marina Bay Sands.

Mr Iswaran announced six measures that aim to help make Singaporeans more conscious about energy use and improve Singapore's energy resilience.


Among them was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between EMA and 16 organisations to pilot Project OptiWatt which will look at ways to help organisations optimise electricity consumption.

This will include moving certain operations to off-peak periods when the cost of electricity is lower, or reducing electricity consumption at certain time periods.

Based on a study by Professor Frank A. Wolak, director of the programme on energy and sustainable development at Stanford University, every megawatt reduction of peak demand in Singapore could translate to cost-savings of about $1.6 million.

For example, Nanyang Polytechnic curtailed the use of its chillers - amounting to about 7 per cent of its electricity consumption - for half an hour and this had minimal impact on users within its premises.

Two new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) importers were also revealed - Pavilion Gas and Shell Eastern Petroleum.

Each have been given a licence to import the next tranche of LNG for Singapore. They will each have the exclusivity to market up to one million tonne a year or for three years, whichever comes earlier.

The next tranche of imports is expected to commence for 2017.

"This will meet demand beyond our initial 3 Mtpa franchise and further complement other piped sources of natural gas," said Mr Iswaran.

EMA also plans to allow third party spot import and new piped natural gas imports on a case-by-case basis.