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TEPCO enters Tohoku, Kyushu regions

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Yomiuri ShimbunA Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. subsidiary will start selling electricity to households in the Tohoku and Kyushu regions from Friday.

TEPCO Energy Partner Inc. (TEPCO EP), which is in charge of electricity and gas retailing, has already made inroads in the Kansai and Chubu regions. The company is also considering expanding into such regions as Hokkaido and Chugoku in the future to offer its services nationwide.

After electricity retailing was fully deregulated in 2016, major power companies became able to supply power to households across several regions. As consumers are free to choose their electricity suppliers, electricity prices are likely to be lowered.

TEPCO EP has made inroads into home electrical power supply in the Kansai and Chubu regions, gaining about 50,000 contracts. It aims at more contracts by entering into the Tohoku region with its major city of Sendai and the Kyushu region that includes Fukuoka.

According to TEPCO EP, it will offer price plans cheaper than the standard rate plans offered by Tohoku Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. by between about ¥3,000 and ¥5,000 per year, Kyushu Electric has restarted its nuclear power plants, which are believed to generate power at relatively low cost, possibly accelerating price competition with TEPCO EP.

TEPCO EP is considering penetrating into such regions as Hokkaido and the Chugoku in stages in the future. If realized, it would be the first example of a major power company launching services nationwide. It will thus be easier for the company to keep its customers by providing electricity to them even after they move out of the Kanto region to other areas.

Chubu Electric Power Co. and Kansai Electric Power Co., however, have already entered TEPCO’s turf of the Tokyo metropolitan area to supply electricity to households, with TEPCO EP losing about 20 percent of customers there in terms of the household electricity market.

In addition to major power companies, newcomers are trying to win customers across regions with cheaper electricity rates. Thus, it is expected that competition will expand nationwide.Speech

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