Malaysian state utility Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has been tasked by government with leading the country’s smart grid programme and advancing the goal of greater energy security across the Southeast Asian region.

Loo Took Gee, secretary-general of Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry, has challenged the utility to produce tangible results as they work “with our Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) counterparts for the Asean Power Grid concept”.

Malaysia has already established energy relationships with Singapore and Thailand as part of a common ASEAN policy to develop a regional power grid that will help ensure energy security and sustainability.

Loo said: “Most Asean ministers are looking forward to congruence in the system of the Asean Power Grid to optimise the use of energy resources in the region and more tangible outcomes of what we’ve been talking about over the past 15 years on energy cooperation in the region.”

The minister admitted that policymakers have been slow to act on formulating and implementing policy.

Utility TNB has piloted an advanced metering infrastructure project with help from government funding.

Under the trial, 1,000 smart meters were installed in two regions of the country but installations created a “public outcry”, said Loo.

Customers were reported to be upset at having to pay for their electricity for the first time.

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