Some Power Utilities' Price Hikes Seen Delayed until after April


Tokyo, Feb. 24 (Jiji Press)--Price hikes planned for April by five regional power utilities in Japan are now expected to be delayed until May or later, with the government set to take more time to scrutinize their applications for the hikes, it was learned Friday.

The five are Tohoku Electric Power Co. <9506>, Hokuriku Electric Power Co. <9505>, Chugoku Electric Power Co. <9504>, Shikoku Electric Power Co. <9507> and Okinawa Electric Power Co. <9511>.

At a meeting of the government's Headquarters for Comprehensive Measures on Prices, Wages, and Livelihoods on the day, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura to conduct "strict and careful screenings" of the applications without assuming that the price hikes should be implemented in April.

The industry ministry plans to examine whether there is scope for the power companies to cut fuel costs, given that liquefied natural gas and other fuel prices have fallen from peaks they hit in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and that the yen's rapid weakening against other major currencies has corrected to some extent.

In November last year, the five companies applied to raise their regulated electricity rates for household customers by around 28 to 45 pct on April 1. An expert panel of the Electricity and Gas Market Surveillance Commission started screening their applications in December.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press