Japan Data

New Subsidy to Cut Energy Bills in Japan, But Price Hikes Loom

Economy Society Lifestyle

Electricity and gas bills are set to decrease in February in Japan, thanks to government measures to reduce the burden on households. However, electric power companies have applied for the right to introduce price hikes from April, citing the high cost of fuel.

Japan’s 10 major electric power companies and four gas companies will lower their rates for February (covering usage in January). This decrease stems from the government’s comprehensive economic stimulus package, announced in October 2022, that will reduce monthly electricity and gas bills for average households by around ¥2,500.

The government will provide a ¥7 subsidy per kilowatt-hour for electricity and a ¥30 subsidy per cubic meter for gas for usage from January to August 2023 (and half that amount for both from September). As a result of the subsidies, an average household in Tokyo will pay ¥7,306 for electricity from Tokyo Electric Power Company and ¥6,424 for gas from Tokyo Gas, which is a decrease of ¥1,820 and ¥611, respectively, compared to January.

However, five energy companies, including Tōhoku Electric Power Company, have applied to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to implement a 28% to 45% increase in regulated residential rates in response to soaring energy prices. If the application is approved, the hike will wipe out the government subsidies, adding to the burden on households. Hokkaidō Electric Power Company and Tokyo Electric Power Company are also considering significant price hikes and are expected to file applications to do so in January.

Average Household Electric Bill in February 2023 and Rates from April

Feb 2023 average bill (compared to previous month) (¥) Situation from April 2023
Hokkaidō Electric Power Company 7,252 (-1,610) Considering price hike
Tōhoku Electric Power Company 6,745 (-1,820) Applied for 32.94% price hike
Tokyo Electric Power Company 7,306 (-1,820) Considering price hike
Chūbu Electric Power Company 7,369 (-1,820) Undecided
Hokuriku Electric Power Company 4,792 (-1,610) Applied for 45.85% price hike
Kansai Electric Power Company 5,677 (-1,820) Undecided
Chūgoku Electric Power Company 6,209 (-1,820) Applied for 31.33% price hike
Shikoku Electric Power Company 6,095 (-1,820) Applied for 28.08% price hike
Kyūshū Electric Power Company 5,526 (-1,750) Undecided
Okinawa Electric Power Company 7,027 (-1,820) Applied for 40.93% price hike

Average per household energy consumption is calculated as 230kWh for the Hokkaidō and Hokuriku power companies, 260kWh for the Tōhoku, Tokyo, Chūbu, Kansai, Chūgoku, Shikoku, and Okinawa power companies, and 250KWh for Kyūshū Electric Power Company.

Average Household Gas Bill for February 2023

Feb 2023 average bill (compared to previous month) (¥)
Tokyo Gas 6,424 (-611)
Tōhō Gas 7,279 (-930)
Osaka Gas 6,833 (-564)
Seibu Gas 7,088 (-709)

Average usage per household is calculated as 30m3 for Tokyo and Osaka, 31m3 for Tōhō, and 23m3 for Seibu.

The table above summarizes the rates of major electric power and city gas companies, but a total of 967 companies nationwide, including electric power retailers and city gas companies, have applied to be included within the government’s household subsidies. Households are not required to fill out any application.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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