TEPCO says 87% of corporate clients yet to renew contracts
Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) says that 87% of its corporate clients have yet to renew their contracts which will include a 17% hike in electricity rates.
TEPCO also said that it expects to take in 100 billion yen less this fiscal year than originally estimated following the rate hike misstep, TBS reported.
The utility came under fire this month after it admitted that it had been vague on conditions for hiking electricity bills for corporate users by 17%, starting April 1. In January, TEPCO said the hike will be applied to companies for 50 kilowatts or more, and is expected to bring an extra 400 billion yen annually to its coffers to cover costs of switching to other forms of power.
However, the utility neglected to explain that corporate users won’t have to pay the extra rate until their current contract expires.
Meanwhile, TEPCO officials said they have applied for an extra capital injection of 1 trillion yen from the government-backed Nuclear Damage Compensation Facilitation Corporation to strengthen the company’s financial standing and run thermal power plants, TBS reported. TEPCO said it also needs an additional 800 billion yen by March 31 for compensation payments to people and businesses over damages from the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year.
Industry Minister Yukio Edano has asked TEPCO to compile a business plan by the end of March, but the utility looks unlikely to meet that deadline.