Most of us take our 24-hour continuous electricity supply for granted. But have you ever noticed that any interruption in supply, even for scheduled maintenance has a big impact on your daily routine?
Whether it’s the fan, air-conditioning, lights, home wi-fi network, computer monitors or household appliances, everything we use daily runs on electric power.
This became even more obvious during the nationwide movement control phases earlier this year when the increase in work from home arrangements due to the COVID-19 pandemic has brought on an unprecedented increase in power grid usage across the country.
As such, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) has implemented the Grid of the Future programme; which aims to ensure a stable and steady supply of electricity for the nation.
The Grid of the Future
TNB has taken steps to ensure that the power supply to Malaysians can keep up with the increasing demands that come with rapid digitalisation of every aspect of our daily life.
It is embarking on modernising the national grid with a wide range of initiatives happening at the same time.
Here’s what you need to know about how the Grid of The Future affects you.
Benefit from Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
Issuing electricity bills traditionally requires someone from TNB to visit homes and read the meters. While this has worked for decades, the introduction of the internet-of-things has allowed TNB to begin rolling out the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).
Here’s where AMI technology is improving how Malaysians can manage and monitor their electricity usage better.
Smart Meters. TNB has begun the process of replacing its existing electricity meter technology with digital versions. These allow for more accurate measurement of electricity usage and opens the doors for a wider range of services from TNB.
myTNB app. Homes with digital meters can opt to pay their electricity bills through the app which also allows them to check their power usage, get updates on power outages, and view special promotions from TNB.
Thus far, TNB is scheduled to install another 600,000 digital meters in Malaysian households, which will bring the total deployed to 1.5 million across the country.
- Head to the myTNB portal and click on “Register Now”.
- On the Register for New Account page, click on Register Now.
- Complete the online form with your details and click on Create Account.
- You will be sent a One-Time PIN (OTP) for verification. Enter the six-digit code and click Confirm.
- Once this is done, you will be sent a verification email.
- You can log into your myTNB account after verifying your email address.
Towards sustainable energy solutions
Besides providing users with more control over managing their electricity, TNB is also moving towards more sustainable and green solutions as a utility provider.
- LED street lighting. Frequent road users should be familiar with one of TNB’s biggest eco-friendly efforts to switch traditional street lights to newer LED bulbs. This reduces the total amount of energy needed to light roads at night, while also extending the lifespan for each bulb before they need to be replaced.
- EV charging infrastructure. TNB is working to assist with the adoption of electric vehicles (EV) by facilitating the setting up of EV electrification infrastructure. The first step is to identify locations to provide for future needs when electric vehicles become more widespread.
- Renewable energy. It is also working hard to meet Malaysia’s target of having 31% energy from renewable sources by 2025. At the moment, efforts are being made to increase the amount of solar power being generated to take advantage of our country’s abundance of sunlight.
Working towards uninterrupted power supply
There is a lot happening behind the scenes when it comes to ensuring uninterrupted power supply to the end user, like you and me.
This requires a modern power grid that reduces the need for human intervention in the event that something goes wrong. The adoption of AMI technology has also let to other advantages for the consumer like:
- Faster detection and restoration of supply
TNB’s digital transformation has seen smart meter data integrated with an advanced distribution management system (ADMS) and a geospatial information system (GIS). This not only allows the power provider to quickly identify power outages, but also automatically allocate resources to mitigate the issue.
- Keeping customers informed and updated
Calling your utility provider call centre to report and ask about updates on power outages will be a thing of the past with the use of ADMS and GIS which allows TNB to locate the nearest repair team and keep customers updated on when the repair team will arrive and deal with the breakdown.
The biggest impact to the consumer is of course in reducing the amount of time we spend in darkness during a blackout as all these infrastructure improvements cuts down the amount of time needed to perform corrective actions.
Reimagining the energy utility business
For TNB, the digital transformation has been crucial for ensuring that Malaysians are getting the uninterrupted power supply that they need. Be it for those who are still working from home to maintain social distancing, or for the economy that is once again opening up.
Currently, the national grid stretches over 24,607 circuit-km in Peninsular Malaysia spanning across 462 substations while in Sabah it covers 2,941 circuit-km with 48 substations. This massive infrastructure has transmitted a total of 123,290 gigawatt-hour (GWh) of electricity in the Peninsular, and 6,392 GWh in Sabah.
The efforts to modernise the Malaysian power grid have resulted in the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAID) reduced from 150 minutes in 2002 to 44.95 minutes in 2020. This improvement makes us the best in the region and puts TNB’s response rate on par with developed countries.