Smart Grid: Hansen and Toshiba partner to distribute Peaceplus solution

Japan begins electricity system reform
Hansen and Toshiba sign a deal for the distribution of Hansen’s Peaceplus solution, while Japan prepares for deregulation in 2016

Hansen and Toshiba Industrial ICT Solutions have partnered to distribute Hansen’s Peaceplus customer management and billing solution into the Japanese retail market.

The agreement will see Hansen “distribute, implement and support the Peaceplus solution for companies in the deregulated Japanese energy market, which opens in April 2016,” according to a release by the company.

Toshiba will distribute Hansen’s Peaceplus solution – a scaleable end-to-end CIS package for utilities, retailers and network companies. The solution has been on offer in the utility sector for over 20 years, and is used in “some of the most challenging deregulated energy markets in the world,” the company statement said. “It includes all functions required for retailing energy as well as highly configurable features that allow its customers to adapt the system to their unique needs.

“Deregulation in the Japanese energy market poses many technical challenges for billing and customer care systems,” says Okada Shunsuke, vice president, Manufacturing, Industrial and Social Infrastructure Solutions Division.

Japan deregulation by 2016

Japan’s energy market will be fully liberalized in 2016 after the enactment of two pieces of legislation, which will allow for generation and transmission companies to be sold off by April 2020.

According to The Japan Times, “A bill to revise the gas business law, which calls for full liberalization of the gas retail market by 2017, mandates that major gas companies in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka separate their gas pipe management sections into new entities in April 2022.”

Vital to the deregulation is the smoothing of transmission of power across regions monopolized by major suppliers. By April 2016, domestic retail sales of electricity will be opened up to new entrants to the market with the goal to lower utility charges and diversify services by increasing competition.

This means that a variety of companies from other sectors can now sell gas and electricity to consumers. The Japan Times said in an online post: “SoftBank is reportedly considering a discount package to households that will subscribe to its electricity supply and mobile phone services.

“Companies from various other sectors such as cable TV operators and nonlife insurance firms will be able to add power supply to their products and services.”