How Smart Energy Management Systems Can Drive Transformation in ASEAN Countries


1.   The Building Energy Management System (BEMS) market is growing rapidly in the Asia-Pacific region, and companies like NTELS are focusing on capturing this growth in ASEAN

2.   Enterprise end-users such as TCC Assets (a developer in Thailand) and PLN (a utility in Indonesia), work with Telecommunications Companies (Telkomsel), and technology solution providers (Dell EMCNTELS & Hitachi Consulting) in collaborating to drive transformation in energy efficiency management

Challenges ASEAN Countries are facing when they build smart cities – Climate change

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been experiencing accelerated economic growth in recent years and collectively, is expected to be the fourth-largest economy in the world by 2030. ASEAN has established the ASEAN Smart City Framework (ASCF) implemented through the ASEAN Smart City Network (ASCN) in order to manage rapidly growing population living in medium-sized cities (home to between 200,000 and 2 million people). One of the key challenges they face in building the smart cities is controlling energy consumption, as the region’s energy demand is also expected to grow by more than 67% by 2040. Among this demand, almost 80% is supplied by fossil fuels, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which leads to higher CO2 emissions and ultimately, rapid climate change.  

ASEAN Countries’ goal

ASEAN aims to increase energy intensity 20 percent by 2020 and 30 percent by 2025. Energy intensity is the measure of energy efficiency, calculated in terms of units of energy per unit of gross domestic product (GDP). Buildings are one of the biggest energy consuming infrastructure, accounting for around 40 percent of total final energy consumption in Southeast Asia, and governments have settled building codes to encourage energy-efficient design and construction.

How to achieve the goal? – Smart buildings and smart grids

Smart buildings integrated with smart grids act as infrastructure that will help ASEAN countries to achieve their goal of becoming more energy efficient. A smart building creates a bi-directional energy flow between its on-site generation and storage systems and the outside electrical smart grid, using building operation software, sensors and data analysis software. It manages energy supply and demand to help eliminate energy waste and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Smart grids allow for two-way communication between utility and demand, responding digitally to the rapid change in electric demand. 

Source: The Asean Post

How Smart Building Technology Works

One of the software systems applied to make a building smart is the Building Energy Management Systems. For instance, NTELS, a Korean tech firm, developed a BEMS where energy data from heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Then, depending on their characteristics, the system identifies energy consumption patterns of buildings and creates proper energy consumption plans. It also has forecasting and building operations monitoring features, which leads to optimisation of energy efficiency in buildings. Such BEMS technology can take energy efficiency of the buildings to another level.

According to Global Industry Analysts, Inc., Asia-Pacific ranks as the fastest-growing market for BEMS with a CAGR of 19.9% over the analysis period.  This reflects the growing need of such systems by developers and governments. All this leads to increasing opportunities for technology companies to work with stakeholders to drive smart energy transformation in the region.

How ASEAN governments, local enterprises and tech firms are collaborating for the adoption of smart

There are several smart building/ projects in the region where energy efficiency is a focus area, and I am highlighting some here (if you’d like the full report written by Asia IoT Business Platform, drop me a note or fill out this form):

PLN, a state-owned power distributor in Indonesia, and Telkomsel, the largest wireless carrier in Indonesia, first commercialised implementation of the technology in ASEAN by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two companies, to launch a IoT (NB-IoT) network for smart meter systems under the utility’s electricity network as part of the utility’s effort to develop Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI).

Another example would be Dell, signing a deal with Thai digital agencies for development of smart cities in Thailand. According to, Anothai Wettayakorn, vice president, Indo-China, through this collaboration, Dell Technologies brings innovation and technology for applications, data, infrastructure and security to support and facilitate Electronic Agency (ETDA) ’s and Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA)’s efforts to transform Thailand into a resilient digital nation and thrive in the digital economy.

Hitachi Consulting Corporation, a leading provider of consulting-led solutions and services, provides ‘Smart City’ Services for One Bangkok, Thailand’s first fully integrated district that is built on people-centric principles and a focus on environmental sustainability and smart city living. Hitachi Consulting will assist the developers with high-level design, technical concepts, and technical requirements for a Smart City Sensor Grid and Smart City Platform.


Smart energy transformation of ASEAN countries is being boosted by collaboration of digital solution providers, governments, and local enterprises. Digital solutions are now seen as a compulsory factor to improve energy management of infrastructure to deal with the growing demand of energy and reduce the detrimental effect on the environment. Over the past 5 years, we’ve seen this trend increasing and expect this growth to accelerate in the future.

If you want to know more about the energy management transformation in the ASEAN region, or want to take part of the journey, please message me at [email protected] or comment below.

Asia IoT Business Platform

6 January 2020

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