KUALA LUMPUR: Contestable market or liberalisation in the local utility sector is vital as it provide consumers alternative solutions with more choices and flexibility when buying electricity.Accenture Singapore Asean Smart Grid Services Lead managing director Lim Chih Shoong said liberalised electricity market provides consumers with competitive pricing and innovative offers while enjoying the same electricity supply."A reduction of up to 26 per cent in utility prices has been observed in Singapore from this market contestability.

"We also expect Malaysia to have different electricity tariff if the country goes into full-retail contestability, making it cheaper (cost-competitive) for consumers to choose their electricity supply," he told the New Straits Times in an interview recently.It was reported that Malaysia is looking to liberalise its utility sector but the government has yet to set any conditions on the supply generation and mix.Lim believed the liberalisation would be a good move towards promoting more sustainable electricity ecosystem in Malaysia which can play a part in reimagining Malaysia for the future.“This is because open electricity market allows the dominant utility company and new players to innovate their products and services for consumers,” he added.

Lim said utility companies should also reinvent to secure performance and create new value for consumers.“Companies must optimise their operation to reduce cost, where the savings in turn can be invested in developing new enhanced products and services,” he said.Lim said legacy players must pivot wisely to grow and transform core business by adopting new solutions in their processes.Among others, he said companies should transform their core business to optimise core processes and unlock trapped value within current operations, driving investment capacity with leading-edge, digitally enabled solutions.Lim said companies must grow its core business to release the fuel for growth with selective investments in renewables and generation, in grid enhancement and expansion, and greater optimisation of distribution and current client base expansion.

“Scale the new requires constant agility and innovation to evolve over the next 10 to 15 years,” he said, quoting an example, pivoting toward low-carbon optimization, adjacent intelligent energy services and new energy consumer services.He said over the near term, the “new” will be relatively small at approximately 15 percent of expected additional overall value, but it is also the fastest growing area, and key to sustainable revenue growth beyond the traditional business.Lim said this initiative allows companies to maintain or secure bigger market share with advanced products and services, while diversifying their revenue stream.On the importance of energy transition (decarbonisation), Lim said governments globally are on the lookout to conserve and make the utility sector more sustainable, while providing clean, efficient and cost effective solutions for the economy.

He said renewable energy (RE) can also be applied in residential and commercial segments including real estate, manufacturing as well as heavy-duty energy consumption sector.“However, the challenge is RE’s ability to produce similar power quality and its infrastructure to support various sector.“RE quality is known to be intermittent and hence critical services such as military and hospital have seen slower uptake,” he said.Lim said the adoption of RE in developed countries like the Netherlands and France was behaviourally and culturally driven but not solely on branding.“However, the reaction of RE adoption in Asia was different as more education and campaigns are needed to steer the society in adopting the alternative clean energy.Lim said consumers will prefer cheaper electricity with the same power quality, citing that currently, most do not concerned themselves with the origination of the energy it sourced from as primary consideration in this region.