Japan Govt to Curb Household Power Rate Hikes


Tokyo, March 3 (Jiji Press)--Japan's industry ministry plans to reduce increases in household electricity bills given the recent decline in fuel import prices, it was learned Friday.

Seven power utilities have applied for the ministry's approval of hikes in regulated household electricity rates by 28 pct to 45 pct citing surging fuel costs on the back of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the yen's sharp depreciation.

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> hope to raise rates from April and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501> and Hokkaido Electric Power Co. <9509> in June.

But strict screening of their applications would push back the hikes, people familiar with the matter said.

The firms figured rate increase margins based on the average fuel costs three months prior to their applications. Specifically, Tohoku, Hokuriku, Chugoku, Shikoku and Okinawa took account the average costs for July-September last year, TEPCO for August-October and Hokkaido for September-November.

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Jiji Press