New power suppliers nips at Japan's big regional utilities- report

September 21
5:45 AM 2013

According to a Reuters report, Japan's big regional power monopolies were seeing competition from new and independent power firms in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The ten powerful utilities still control 90% of the electricity market but the disaster has accelerated market reforms.

New power firms were now offering novel technologies, more flexible payment terms and more affordable power. A Reuters survey showed that Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) had already lost thousands of consumers as companies looked for cheaper energy suppliers. Tepco operates the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Ennet Corp President Hiroaki Ikebe told Reuters that the Fukushima disaster prompted the Japanese to ask questions about their power supply system and the costs that go along with it. "Until recently, everyone just assumed that if you put a plug in a socket electricity would come out. Most people had no idea of the structures behind that," he said. Ennet Corp is the largest independent electricity supplier in Japan. By offering more affordable electricity and flexible payment terms, Ennet has increased the number of its customers to 15,000 in just two years.

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