Utility rates to hit all-time high from Sept

TOKYO —

A further utilities rate hike in September will result in some of the highest electricity and gas prices ever in Japan, industry experts say.

Eight major electricity and gas companies will raise their rates from Sept 1. Four of the country’s leading gas providers will raise their prices to an all-time high for the fifth consecutive month, TBS reported Thursday. Four of the 10 major electricity companies have also revealed that their rates will be at an all-time high following the increase.

Among the electricity companies, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) is to increase its rates by 26 yen, Chubu Electric Power Co by 15 yen, Kansai Electric Power Co by 12 yen and Kyushu Electric Power Co by 1 yen, TBS reported.

On the other hand, utilities that announced they were cutting their rates include Hokuriku Electric Power Co, which will reduce rates by 9 yen, Hokkaido Power Co, which will cut its rates by 13 yen, Shikoku Electric Power Co, which will lower its charges by 12 yen, and Okinawa Electric Power Co, which has announced a 27 yen rate drop. Chugoku Electric Power Co says its rates will remain unchanged.

The increases will result in record highs for seven consecutive months in Tokyo and Kansai and six consecutive months in Chubu and Kyushu. The four companies dropping their rates are doing so for the first time in nine months.

The utilities attribute the price hike to the cost of importing fuel caused by the weakening yen. Industry experts have noted that all of the companies that announced price increases are those that rely on liquified natural gas (LNG), the cost of which has been steadily increasing.

Japan Today

  • 8

    marcelito

    And this gets announced just after TEPCO reports $4 billion quarterly profit in April -June period? ( and no doubt they will be begging for more taxpayer money handouts soon "humbly asking for understanding and co-operation" ).

    Where is the J-public and media outrage? Naoki average please bend over some more - yoroshiku ongaiitashimasu...

  • 2

    Magnet

    Not sure whether to blame TEPCO or Abenomics on this one. Either way, they're both destroying this beautiful country.

  • 7

    Alex Einz

    why there is no public outrage over this...sounds insane....

  • 1

    JeanValJean

    The SHEEPLE are incapable of becoming outraged.

  • 8

    gogogo

    so mad, taxing the poor man to make the share holders of these companies happy.

  • 0

    Cricky

    Abenomics at its best, screw the people help the rich..alls well. It's the people's choice.

  • 2

    Disillusioned

    "It is regretful, but we honorably accept ripping you off to pay for our truck-up. Arigato! "

  • 10

    zichi

    At the beginning of next month, KEPCO will shut down its No3 Oi reactor followed by the No4 reactor two weeks later. Guess they'll be wanting further power charge increases following that.

    There will be no reactors in operation and although the power companies have applied to the NRA to restart their reactors there's no clear date when they'll start.

    I think Japan is one of the few countries which charges a higher rate for domestic users than those for business.

    PM Abe promised to end the power companies monoploy over power generation and power supply but I wonder if that wasn't just pre-election speak?

  • 3

    Yubaru

    The SHEEPLE are incapable of becoming outraged.

    If history is any lesson I doubt that anyone wants the "sheeple" to get outraged. Until the people hit bottom, really hit bottom, and there are shortages, or rationing, the folks are not going to complain.

    They are for the most part in blissful ignorance about much that is wrong with the country and the media is to blame for that.

  • 1

    Cricky

    Yubaru , nail on the head, I am constantly surprised that no one I meet has even given a thought about what's happening. If the biggest N disaster ever known the loss of 140,000 lives +++ people still living in school gyms, does not register what on earth will it take to wake up these apparent zombies. I can not help but think of donkey island from Pinokiyo.

  • 4

    yugodabe

    Not something i would normally post but.. I thought TEPCO had no money and was going bankrupt, they have something tucked away by the looks of it.

    Since 2000 they have made $400 Billion + with their ventures, TTNET, not sure how much was made since they bought 5% stake in Japanetbanking in the year 2002. Japanetbanking, Its stakeholders, including parent company Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and NTT DoCoMo (provider of i-mode), were all big companies from different industry sectors. This stakeholder base gave JNB market exposure and access to their established customer bases. By April 2001 JNB had 130,000 customers. It aimed at winning one million accounts and ¥1 trillion deposits by 2002.

    The Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc. (TEPCO, www.tepco.co.jp, 5% stake in Japan Internet banking) Tokyo Electric Power was the world’s largest private electric power company, serving 26 million customers in Japan’s Kanto area, including Tokyo. To diversify its operations as deregulation opened up part of the market to other electric suppliers, by 2001 TEPCO was moving into telephony and Internet services. It owned a major stake in Tokyo Telecommunication Network (TTNet), which provided local and long-distance phone services, and had partnered with nine other Japanese electric power companies to create PNJ Communications, a potential rival to NTT. TEPCO’s revenues in the fiscal year ending 31 March, 2000, stood at more than US$40 billion.

  • -4

    sengoku38

    It is good for the environment to raise rates to match the true cost to our planet of producing electricity, which have increased since Japan has left cleaner nuclear power.

  • -2

    hidingout

    Fire up those nuclear reactors boys.

  • -1

    hokkaidoguy

    Utility rates to hit all-time high from Sept

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Hokkaido Power Co

    wait, what?

    which will cut its rates by 13 yen

    YEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

  • 0

    missbatten

    There's a reason why people here don't complain, don't take to the streets, and don't publish critical ideas, although they used to. That reason is called the Taisho period. There are still people alive who remember the Kempeitai.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    That reason is called the Taisho period. There are still people alive who remember the Kempeitai.

    That's BS. You evidently missed out on the 60's and 70's part of your Japanese history lessons and the Kempetai have NOTHING to do with why they don't demonstrate today.

    The folks here have it too good and don't feel the pain of not having things that they are accustomed to having, so there is no reason, yet, for them to get up in arms.

  • 0

    rowiko68

    And what's with the huge profits they just announced? The shareholders must be laughing themselves stupid. And in the meantime the government is expecting the consumers to go out and buy stuff in order to get the economy going... Good one! Probably not gonna happen.

  • 0

    bruinfan

    Highest rates in the world (per kwh) ? It seems like it...does anyone know where it is more expensive?

  • -1

    missbatten

    Yubaru you can just sweep the Taisho period under the carpet? Such a funny wee fellow. Yes, the 60s and 70s had their student demos, but I think the Taisho period protests and the hardships of the working poor and their families reached much further into Japanese society. But of course, since that's all BS, as you say, we can relax and stop worrying about the similarities between the changing political mood in the '20s and in our own time. Such a relief, thank you!

  • 0

    Rhino

    @sengoku38:

    > It is good for the environment to raise rates to match the true cost to our planet of producing electricity, which have increased since Japan has left cleaner nuclear power. >

    That would be correct if the extra money was used to replace old and dirty energy sources with new, alternative ones. But that's not the case here. The money really either goes to the investors of power companies, or they are used to pay the victims of Fukushima (which indirectly, of course, is again helping the investors of Tepco, since they should really shoulder the costs). P.S.: When I talk of "alternative" energy, I do not refer to nuclear power. As we all know by now, nuclear power is one of the dirtiest energy forms of all.

  • 3

    presto345

    What I miss in this news item is the actual rates the consumers pay now and will pay after the increases. Prices per kWh and or total average monthly charges. Nowhere did I see 'kWh'.

    Japan does not have the highest electricity rates in the world. I think Italy, for example, has higher rates, but that is because there is more renewable energy provided.

  • 2

    malfupete

    would be nice if they provided some kWh numbers because these increases are meaningless.. customers only paying 26 yen more, is that on their total bill or what? If my electric bill was only 26 yen/cents more I would be jumping for joy. Where I live, in Ontario, we have time of day usage, with the day being broken into high-peak, mid-peak and off-peak hours.. with the highest rates obviously during high-peak... and I think its something like 13 cents/kWh, at least in my area

  • 0

    Magnet

    If you go to the TEPCO website, they have a breakdown of how you will be charged. Good luck trying to follow it though. Confusing as all hell!

  • 0

    zichi

    This is the system TEPCO uses for calculating its power charges. Not the same for all the power companies. http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/customer/guide/ratecalc-e.html

  • 1

    Serrano

    Hey, TEPCO is just doing their part to halt deflation, lol.

  • 0

    Joe Budai

    would be nice if they provided some kWh numbers because these increases are meaningless.. customers only paying 26 yen more, is that on their total bill or what?

    Thats just it. The article doesn't provide any more info. But rates are usually 20-40 yen per KWH. So this must be for 26 on the total.

  • 1

    malfupete

    Zichi.. that charting is a mess.. confuse your customers enough and they won't care what the charges are

  • -2

    Frungy

    So let me get this straight... Kansai is the ONLY area currently producing nuclear power (Ono reactors in Fukui Prefecture)... but people in that area not only have to shoulder the increased risk of a nuclear incident, but ALSO a rates increase?

    ... you have GOT to be kidding me.

  • 0

    zichi

    @malfupete

    Zichi.. that charting is a mess.. confuse your customers enough and they won't care what the charges are

    It more clear on the monthly bills and easy to understand how the power charge is calculated.

  • 1

    Gaijin Desi

    Ready to pay for Hike or ready to accept Nuclear POWER again.... Simple !!! no +/-

  • 3

    kchoze

    I think Japan is one of the few countries which charges a higher rate for domestic users than those for business.

    Actually, that's pretty common. For example, in the US, industrial rates nearly half of residential rates, 6,5 cents versus 12,5 cents per kWh. Commercial businesses tend to have rates a bit lower than residential too. It's the same in Canada. I don't know for Europe.

  • -1

    Yubaru

    Yubaru you can just sweep the Taisho period under the carpet? Such a funny wee fellow. Yes, the 60s and 70s had their student demos, but I think the Taisho period protests and the hardships of the working poor and their families reached much further into Japanese society. But of course, since that's all BS, as you say, we can relax and stop worrying about the similarities between the changing political mood in the '20s and in our own time. Such a relief, thank you!

    Yes considering that the folks who were around in that era are now either ashes, in wheel chairs, or still living wonderful lives at nearly 100 years old.

    Maybe you dont know but it's 2013 and not 1913 right now, and the circumstances and situations are so different today it's like comparing apples and .......(feel free to pick any non-round, non-food product as a comparison)

    To everyone else today, The Taisho era is something they read about in history books and has NO effect or meaning today. To think or even suggest otherwise is ludicrous.

  • -1

    kurisupisu

    With the current factory outsourcing still going ahead full speed there won't be demand for electricity here in the near future anyway.....

  • -1

    Alex Einz

    Frungy.. well technically Fukushima is quite active still... so I reckon those people should be excluded from electricity payments as well...

  • -1

    therougou

    So let me get this straight... Kansai is the ONLY area currently producing nuclear power (Ono reactors in Fukui Prefecture)... but people in that area not only have to shoulder the increased risk of a nuclear incident, but ALSO a rates increase? ... you have GOT to be kidding me.

    They could restart all of the Kansai reactors and will probably still charge us more. This really hurts when you have central air conditioning...

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