TOKYO, November 29, 2013 – Rakuten Energy today announced that it will commence the new Power Management Service on December 1, 2013. Through this service, Rakuten Energy will source the optimal power source based on customers’ electricity usage patterns to help reduce their electricity bill.
To date, Rakuten has mainly encouraged contract accommodation providers of Rakuten Travel, group’s online travel agency, for more efficient electricity use by promoting the use of demand response systems and visualization through BEMS to address electricity price hikes and tighter energy supply-demand conditions. An analysis of energy data obtained through marketing these solutions found that it would be far more effective to make changes to the basic electricity contract and rationalize all aspects of energy usage, instead of partially optimizing electricity usage by means of facility improvements at individual accommodation providers. It was also determined that there was a strong correlation between energy/electricity usage and occupancy rate, and that accommodation providers would like their energy management services to be linked to the online booking service provided by Rakuten Travel.
Meanwhile, the power producer and supplier (PPS) segment continues to occupy only a small share of the domestic electricity market, making it difficult for consumers to learn the breakdown of where their electricity is coming from. This is why power system reforms in Japan require greater activity in the electricity market itself, like that seen in Europe and North America.
Based on this, Rakuten Energy will commence the new Power Management Service in order to generate greater activity in the electricity market and promote electricity deregulation, ushering in an era where consumers are able to choose what electricity they use. Through this service, Rakuten Energy will enter into electricity supply contracts on behalf of its customers, analyze energy data, and based on this, source the most optimal electricity from either existing power companies or PPS, which will enable it to supply electricity at a lower cost than before. Customers will also be able to source 100% renewable green electricity if need be, an illustration of the broad options that will be made available through Rakuten Energy’s platform. In addition, Rakuten will seek to achieve total energy optimization that will help to improve accommodation provider profitability through ongoing consulting services that reduce energy costs and unique measures only offered by Rakuten to boost accommodation provider sales.
Since the launch of Rakuten Solar in July 2012, Rakuten has been selling solar power systems, storage batteries and recharging stations for EV to consumers and providing membership services through the Taiyo Mileage Club. In June 2013, Rakuten reorganized its energy businesses and launched Rakuten Energy, which has been promoting the digital energy business through demand response systems for companies. Going forward, Rakuten will continue to develop platforms that meet the diverse needs of today’s consumer from the standpoint of integrating IT and energy in order to help Japan effectively achieve its electricity system reforms and reinvigorate the electricity market. Furthermore, Rakuten Energy will seek out group-wide synergies through energy data analysis to develop new, more cost competitive and value added energy services and solutions.
The Electricity Management Service will be showcased in greater detail at the Rakuten Travel New Year’s Conference scheduled to take place in early 2014.