Maximizing synergy amongst the Rakuten Group to revolutionize the energy industry and change our customers’ lives
Rakuten Group announced the launch of Rakuten Denki in November 2018, becoming a fully-fledged entrant in the retail electricity market. The energy industry is facing many large changes related to the spread of decentralized electricity and digitization.
But how can Rakuten empower society through updating this industry for the future? This section introduces the Energy Business Department, which aims to revolutionize the future of electricity for its customers and produce new value in the field, as well as the department’s future plans.
Leading a revolution in the energy market as the retail electricity market expands
The Energy Business Department offers two core services: "Rakuten Denki" and "Rakuten Energy Business” to provide retail electricity services for individuals and corporations.
As part of its services for individuals, it provides simplified electricity plans (which were traditionally complex and difficult to understand) through establishing a basic usage charge of ¥0 and a single pay-as-you-go unit price (depending on the level of usage).
It also introduced systems that provide benefits for customers using its services. This includes granting Rakuten Points according to the amount of electricity used and allowing for points earned through other Rakuten services to be used to pay for electricity bills.
Its corporate services offer unique Rakuten-style solutions centered around its customers with stores on Rakuten Ichiba and Rakuten Travel, such as measures to attract customers through links with other business services.
Efforts around the world to rapidly adopt renewable energy (such as solar and wind-based sources that have reduced environmental impacts) for 100% of business-related energy usage are rapidly spreading.
The increased attention being paid to private businesses’ environmental considerations led the Energy Business Department to create Project R100, which provides corporate customers with stores on Rakuten Ichiba and Rakuten Travel, etc. with 100% renewable energy. The department also provides the Rakuten Energy Trading System (RETs), Japan's first platform for trading renewable energy and energy conservation using blockchain technology.
Despite the retail electricity market being deregulated more than three years ago, it’s said that more than 80% of households are still using regional energy providers. Rakuten will lead the transformation of the energy market by providing lower-cost, higher-value energy services to these customers.
Creating new empowerment amongst societal infrastructure through digitization of energy and synergy amongst the Rakuten Group.
Digitization of electricity meters, the development of mobile transmission technologies, and the spread of IoT/AI has led to improved visualization of energy data. Rakuten Electricity has pioneered a system that allows users to check changes in electricity usage every 30 minutes through the internet.
More than 100 million Japanese customers make use of Rakuten’s 70 different services. The Energy Business Department aims to develop new services by linking energy data with other services provided by the Rakuten Group.
With the spread of distributed power resources such as solar, storage batteries, and electric vehicles, progress is expected to be made towards controlling and optimizing power supply and demand using virtual power plants (VPPs).
At present, Japan’s electrical supplies are still reliant on large-scale power plants. However, in the future, it’s believed that VPPs will allow for power produced by individual households to be bundled together. This power will then be able to be reciprocally traded between customers.
The Energy Business Department aims to establish a new power platform by utilizing Rakuten Groups’ IT technologies and big data.
The combination of energy and IT contains unlimited possibilities.
The Energy Business Department will maximize synergy with the Rakuten Group to provide empowerment through societal infrastructure.