Japan’s 10 major power firms to cut rates in Feb.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s 10 major power utilities said Tuesday that they will lower their electricity rates for February thanks to government subsidies aimed at cushioning the impact of higher prices.

A standard household is expected to see a decline of nearly ¥2,000.

In the service area covered by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. , fees at a standard household using 260 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month is projected to decline by ¥1,820 from January to ¥7,306.

The government plans to provide ¥7 per kilowatt-hour of electricity used in January-August next year and ¥3.5 in September.

But seven of the 10 utilities including Tohoku Electric Power Co. are considering raising their restricted household rates substantially. Five of them have applied for regulatory approval to raise them by 30 to 40 pct in April due to higher fuel costs.

Government subsidies are also slated to lower city gas rates in February. The bill at a standard household is estimated to drop by ¥611 in the area covered by Tokyo Gas Co. and by ¥564 in the Osaka Gas Co. area.