Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Chubu consults Oracle for smart meter rollout

Steve Rogerson
June 30, 2020

Japanese utility Chubu Electric Power Grid has rolled out seven million smart meters with Oracle Meter Data Management (MDM) technology as it seeks to hit ten million connected residential and commercial properties by 2023.
In 2014, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry (Meti) mandated the liberation of the electricity market to provide a stable supply of energy, curb energy charges and create an open retail market that provides choice for customers. Following Meti’s decision, Chubu Electric Power decided to implement a smart meter system and plans to roll it out to all its customers by 2023.
The utility serves the Chubu region of Japan, including Aichi, Mie, Gifu, Nagano and Shizuoka. The utility’s mission is to deliver a stable supply of high quality energy in a safe and reasonable form to deliver on the realisation of a low-carbon society.
With the data from its existing smart meters, Chubu Electric Power can better visualise energy usage to improve the efficiency of power generation and power transmission facilities and better serve its customers. For example, the utility can use meter data to see when a customer is reaching their target energy usage and alert them. Likewise, the utility can see how much energy a household has used from its rooftop solar PV and allow customers to divert excess energy to a family member.
With the smart meter data, Chubu Electric Power can enable electricity retailers in the Chubu region by being able to refine and improve services continually including fee calculation and flexible pricing menu proposals. This could include implementing time-of-use rates to support the efficient use of electric power by customers while reducing energy load during peak demand times.
“Serving our customers and reducing energy are key goals and ones we can’t achieve without continuous data,” said Takuya Kajikawa, general manager of Chubu’s distribution control engineering group. “Oracle’s experience in managing large scale smart meter rollouts has been critical in helping us achieve key milestones in this project and in helping utilise smart meter data to improve both operational efficiency and how we engage our customers.”
Based on its record of smart meter implementations across the globe, Oracle Utilities was chosen by Chubu Electric Power to kick off its smart meter programme in 2013, with pilots starting the following year. Today, Oracle operates as the infrastructure for the company’s smart meter control management system. Most recently, Chubu Electric Power is upgrading to a newer version of Oracle MDM as it moves from seven to ten million smart meters.
Chubu also uses Oracle Utilities SGG smart grid gateway to centralise advanced meter infrastructure data and create a common connection among utility applications and smart grid devices. For example, with data flowing to an electricity retailer’s customer information system in regular intervals, they can simplify customer billing.
Chubu Electric Power can also submit remote commands to the smart meter to perform operations such as connect and disconnect service to a household or set an energy load limit without deploying a field worker. Additionally, SGG reduces the cost and complexity of introducing new devices, data streams and business processes.