One of Japan’s leading construction and real estate companies, Haseko Corp., recently sealed an agreement with General Electric (GE) for the purchase of smart meters produced in the Philippines, with Nippon Kouatsu Electric Co. Ltd. (NKE) as partner distributor. These technologically advanced solutions will be installed in Haseko’s residential projects dubbed “smart mansions” located across Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.
“We believe in GE as a global brand trusted by the market and the expertise it brings in developing the business of smart meters in Japan,” said Tetsuo Akiyama, operating officer at the engineering division of Haseko Anesis Corporation.
This move by Haseko is aligned with Japan’s Smart Mansion Assessment System for multi-unit apartment buildings launched last year. The new rating system evaluates the energy efficiency of all smart mansions approved by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry based on a set of criteria. These smart mansions will then be classified accordingly, thus providing potential tenants useful information on energy savings, among other things when deciding where they want to live.
According to Akiyama, the use of smart meters in recent years has been spurred by events such as the major earthquake that Japan experienced in March 2011. The effect on infrastructure and rise in electricity costs has encouraged consumers to seek ways to save. Haseko implements a sub-metering scheme where they buy electricity in bulk from big utilities, and resell them to end-users. “But in order to do that, you must have certain equipment to monitor the consumption of electricity of the end user, and this is where GE smart meters are key,” explained Akiyama. It is estimated that Haseko will be deploying some 200,000 GE smart meters within a two-year time frame.
In Japan, GE supplies equipment and smart solutions under GE Digital Energy to channel partners like NKE, with most of these products used for protection and control as well as for monitoring and logistics in an industrial setting.
Meanwhile, the GE–Haseko partnership opens opportunities for expansion and new markets for GE smart meters outside of the Philippines.
“It’s definitely an exciting opportunity for us to expand our business beyond the Philippine market,” stated Waldo A. Darvin, president and general manager of GEPMICI and GE’s regional product leader for Asia. “We are happy to work with NKE and Japan’s largest residential apartment builder, and look forward to working more closely with Haseko in realizing their ‘smart apartment’ vision. We will continue to look for other opportunities, especially within the Asia-Pacific region.”
Founded in 1937 with headquarters in Tokyo, Haseko has built around 550,000 apartments across Japan and is currently the only company in the country that implements residential building projects on a full turnkey basis—from planning, designing and constructing, to sales, renovation and building administration.