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The government said Thursday it will launch a five-year trial project worth ¥100 billion to test the efficiency of smart-grid systems linking power suppliers with households using energy-saving technologies.

The project will begin this fiscal year in Yokohama, Kitakyushu, Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, and the Keihanna area covering Kyoto, Osaka and Nara, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.

Municipalities will flesh out the details with large corporations in the areas by the end of June, the ministry said.

The Yokohama Municipal Government plans to equip 4,000 homes with smart meters to automatically adjust the amount of electricity supplied to each home, while monitoring how electricity is being consumed in the entire community participating in the trial, METI said.

The Toyota Municipal Government, Toyota Motor Corp. and other regional companies will implement a power-saving project involving various households and next-generation environmentally friendly vehicles.

In the Keihanna area, the Kyoto Prefectural Government and Kansai Research Institute, a government-backed foundation overseeing the Kansai Science City project, will equip 1,000 homes with solar cell equipment enabling each household to check how much electricity it is consuming.

The Kitakyushu Municipal Government will implement a project to save electricity in cooperation with regional companies led by Nippon Steel Corp. and households, the ministry said.

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