Interview with Masaki Umejima, Deputy Chairman of Smart House and Building Committee, Japan Smart Community Alliance, JSCA Fellow, ECHONET Consortium. Mr Umejima is a speaker in the Smart Metering track the upcoming European Utility Week.

Masaki Umejima

Please can you tell us more about the Japan Smart Community Alliance (JSCA) and its goals?
JSCA was established in April 2010 through the collaboration of the public and private sectors. It aims to overcome complex issues that are difficult for companies or organizations to resolve by themselves.

Since launching, JSCA has welcomed all industrial and academic players who have an interest in the Smart Community, which is Japan’s national strategy aimed at energy supply saving and demand side control.

Currently, 350 companies, included overseas companies and institutions, have joined JSCA to be a committee member.

What kind of projects are you are involved in that you can share with us?
As the deputy chairman in JSCA, I am addressing a Smart House strategy, which is demand side management, including smart meter adoption. Last year, JSCA decided that all Japan’s smart meters, reaching 48 million households, have two interfaces.  One is A root, connected to the utility company, and the other is B root, which brings energy consumption data to the demand side such as a house.

Can you share some success stories/case studies?
Standardization in a power meter and a demand side management system is the home energy management system (HEMS). JSCA has pursued standardization that all devices speak ECHONET Lite, which is one of IEC standards. ECHONET Lite has become an enabler that brings network access to all appliances, reaching 80 types of devices such as air conditioners, EVs, PVs, power meters, etc. Added to this, B root in a power meter speaks IPv6 and adopts standardized media like WiFi, G3-PLC, Wi-Sun.

What are the main challenges in Japan's energy industry?

Addressing demand side management.

JSCA is comprised of both the private and public sector - how has this contributed to your work?
JSCA has four working groups, in each of which active discussions and studies for further development and deployment of its own target issues are carried out through collective efforts by both public and private sectors.

What will be your message at European Utility Week?
Let’s get real demand side management that carries a standardized interface.

Anything else you would like to add?
Feel free to contact me if you have interest in Japan’s HEMS.