8 Janvier 2016
January 8, 2016
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday that it will lower electricity rates by up to about 6 percent in April in a bid to attract customers as the deregulation of the retail electricity market in Japan is set to spark fierce price competition.
The power company will cut the monthly house-use electricity rate for a four-person household to 19,100 yen ($162), for example, if a customer signs up for a two-year power service contract by the end of March.
The new price will be lower than the current 20,300 yen and also 3 to 5 percent cheaper than rates offered by Chubu Electric Power Co. and Kansai Electric Power Co. TEPCO plans to sell electricity in central and western Japan -- the markets currently monopolized by the two rivals.
At present, Japan's regional power firms can sell electricity to retail customers only in their respectively designated areas.
But the market barriers will be lifted when the liberalization of the retail market starts in April, opening up opportunity to firms not traditionally in the power business.
The deregulation will spur tough price competition and put a major power firm like TEPCO at risk of losing customers to new rivals.