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.