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14 electricity, gas companies to hike rates in July

45 Comments

Fourteen major electricity and gas companies in Japan will raise their rates in July, the fourth consecutive month for rate hikes since April.

The utilities say they have to raise rates due to the higher cost of importing fuel caused by the weakening yen. Other factors cited are that since all their nuclear reactors but two are offline, costs have surged due to the utilities’ switch to geothermal power, and they face a shortage in operating revenue.

The 10 major electricity companies said the rates will be at their highest since May 2009. For example, compared to June, the monthly household rates will be 116 yen higher for Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) customers and 87 yen higher for Chubu Electric Power Co customers.

The four major gas companies, including Tokyo Gas and Osaka Gas, have already announced a rate hike for June. They said the July hike may not be the last one, if the yen keeps falling.

With demand for electricity soaring for air conditioners in summer, households face a tough time. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has requested utilities to carry out further cost-cutting measures in order to minimize the impact for consumers.

Kansai Electric Power Co (KEPCO) said it will implement salary cuts of 16% for all employees and sell off some assets worth 7.5 billion yen. Kyushu Electric said it hopes to raise 14 billion yen by selling various facilities.

© Japan Today

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45 Comments
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Oh look, Abenomics is working, we've got ourselves some inflation.

Some utilities, such as Kansai Electric Power Co (KEPCO) said it will implement salary cuts of 16% for all employees

And some wage deflation as well!!!!!!!!!

8 ( +12 / -4 )

I never use my AC. TEPCO can shove it.

If you think ahead before getting an apartment/mansion you won't need to use your AC.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

And there you have it folks. Abenomics at work.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Kansai Electric Power Co (KEPCO) said it will implement salary cuts of 16% for all employees

And just how does a 16% cut for all employees equal a pay raise? Oh right this is Abe's idea of a raise! A rise in costs for everyone.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

A specifically troubled sector with enforced higher dependency on imported carbon fuel costs magnified by the weakness of the yen. Equating a salary cut in the energy industry right now with a failure in "Abenomics" is plain convenient selective bias and a very shallow understanding of what the current Japanese Government is attempting to do.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Kansai Electric Power Co (KEPCO) said it will implement salary cuts of 16% for all employees Dont forget to add "EXCEPT for the management! "

Also if the yen gets stronger and fuel gets cheaper will these same companies lower the rates? I dont think so.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

KEPCO already put their rates up in April, about 9% for domestic and 17% for business?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Ahhh Abenomics... Actually I am not a fan of it, but for some reason many are.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Abenomics, costing the average Joes more and more each month but making you proud! .............. somehow :-s

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Thank you Mr. Abe. Now I have even less money to spend on other things ...

By the way .... hasn't your 2% inflation target been surpassed already? Now what ... even more inflation?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

randommanMay. 31, 2013 - 04:48PM JST

A specifically troubled sector with enforced higher dependency on imported carbon fuel costs magnified by the weakness of the yen. Equating a salary cut in the energy industry right now with a failure in "Abenomics" is plain convenient selective bias and a very shallow understanding of what the current Japanese Government is attempting to do.

Either you're not working in Japan and if you are, you're not working for a Japanese company. My own company, which is one of the biggest producers of steel in the world has cut all overtime, which was a right of passage for workers in their 40s to 'base up' their basic salary, yet the company has not cut the previous production targets. This has all been done to counter the rise in the price of ore and coke because of the weakening Yen, while keeping sale price the same.

What this has meant is that everyone is taking a salary cut and this is being repeated all over Japan. Companies, because of the limits of consumer demand in Japan are too scared to raise their sales price and will cut elsewhere to mantain their very low profit margin.

The only difference is that the energy industry has no qualms about raising prices because it has a captured market which has nowhere else to go.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

As edojin says, less money to spend on other things, demand down, prices down, wages down, demand further down, and so on ...! Sounds like the infernal deflation spiral is on.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

abenomics = BS!

My electricity has been up 60%+ since 3/11 & appears set to continue upwards, idiots keep running us & the country into the ground

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Simple all go Solar off grid..... then see how much the Energy supplier tries to raise their prices, The dearer Electricity became in Australia the less people are using it and are using energy saving devices. me my total power bill for 3 months is $200 with a solar rebate of $1250 cash back.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hey, what the heck! Why not just turn back on a couple of them nuclear reactors... That ought to bring prices back down again... right? Uh,... or it that just plain DPJ gamesmanship? LIke I said, Abe's Bubble Eco-nomics (ABE-nomics)...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Meanwhile, in the rest of the economy - the 240 largest Japanese corporations are going to be paying on average the highest summer bonuses since 1990.

850,000 yen on average. Don't write off Abenomics just yet. Next week the new CPI numbers will come in too.

If you want a source for the bonus information, open up today's 日経新聞.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

UpgrayeddMay. 31, 2013 - 08:23PM JST

Meanwhile, in the rest of the economy - the 240 largest Japanese corporations are going to be paying on average the highest summer bonuses since 1990.

35% of all Japanese workers and 70% of Japanese workers under 35 are not going to be getting any bonus next week because they are part time of contract workers.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Why not just turn back on a couple of them nuclear reactors...

well that will happen, eventually but only after the NRA check them for safety standards which is probably not this year but anyway even when the reactors are started the power companies won't reduce their power charges, they'll just shift the excuse to another need, like safety standards.

4 ( +5 / -2 )

That depends on their contract.any contract employees receive bonuses.

Still, doesn't change the fact that Japanese companies are going to be paying record compensations next month.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Abenomics=put the screws to the people. Thanks Abe. Please go play with Hollande.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Again!!!!!!! The currency rates are changing. Get all the money you can from those visting. Gouge those pockets as much as you can.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No one should be surprised at this at all.. Abenomics is working alright, working to make the everyday people poorer due to rising prices, fat chance salaries will increase in step!

the power industry is essentially an oligopoly, a cartel if you will.. they can charge whatever they want to and there are absolutely no substitute products to choose from.. unless you want to build a wind farm or have solar panels on your roof.

typical corporate decisions, cut salaries for the rank and file, increase prices, give bigger bonuses to execs.. if it works for Goldman Sachs, it works for the rest of them

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Apple have also increased their product prices because of the yen. Glad I've replaced all my devices at good prices so I'm good for a couple of years.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

According to Keynes, it should be impossible to have inflation and stagnant growth (stagflation). Of course we already saw it happen in the 70s, so I don't know why we are still following disproven Keynesian policies...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Abenomics - taking your money and giving it to others. Brought to you by the LDP. Lame Deplorable Party. Thank you Abe-san. Your new yen rate is making money for only a hand full of companies while costing the rest of us more money. No job increases, no long term plan for economic growth for working people. Just an idiotic notion that inflation will somehow appear thanks to consumer confidence.

If these fools would just talk to any normal working family they would quickly understand that the only economic confidence we have is that things are getting harder for us.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ah yes! Abenomics starting to kick in. Utility costs increase, taxes increase, food costs increase, transport costs increase, company profits increase, but salaries and disposable income decrease while the current generation pays for the greed, incompetence and a total lack of foresight of the previous generation. Otsukade sama Japan. Just shows how contortionistic Japanese politicians are. They can screw themselves quite easily!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

70% of workers under 35 in Japan are contract employees? Now I've heard it all.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A specifically troubled sector with enforced higher dependency on imported carbon fuel costs magnified by the weakness of the yen. Equating a salary cut in the energy industry right now with a failure in "Abenomics" is plain convenient selective bias and a very shallow understanding of what the current Japanese Government is attempting to do.

Summed it up best. Instead of reevaluating the need for nuclear power which is releatively immune to those factors, blame Abe.

1 ( +6 / -4 )

Summed it up best. Instead of reevaluating the need for nuclear power which is releatively immune to those factors, blame Abe.

But let's be quite clear, the nuclear disaster and the nuclear energy crisis was actually caused by the power companies themselves and now we are all paying for it. The enormous cost of the work at the Fukushima atomic plant, the trillions needed for compensation claims, and now the increase in power charges because of the need to import more energy than before.

I don't blame Abe, but I do blame the whole of the nuclear village, which also includes many LDP gov't's . And before you decide it was the earthquake and tsunami which caused the nuclear disaster, just let me remind you that TEPCO have accepted full responsibility for it based on the lack of the necessary safety standards.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

But let's be quite clear, the nuclear disaster and the nuclear energy crisis was actually caused by the power companies themselves and now we are all paying for it.

What "you" are paying mostly is for the added cost as a result of those people who demanded the virtual stoppage of the entire NPP hence the shift in reliance of imported carbon fuels. While the reevaluation of the safety standards are needed, there comes a time where people need to seriously evaluate the neccessity of nuclear power for the status quo will ultimately cost the industry and citizens much more than the cost incurred by the damage from Fukushima Daiichi.

-3 ( +4 / -6 )

Well, duh of course! The combination of Abenomics (= money printing = yen trashing) and the stupid closure of all nuclear plants of course means that electricity rates will have to go up. Anybody who is surprised by this need to get some basic education.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

nigelboy

Summed it up best. Instead of reevaluating the need for nuclear power which is releatively immune to those factors, blame Abe.

there comes a time where people need to seriously evaluate the neccessity of nuclear power for the status quo will ultimately cost the industry and citizens much more than the cost incurred by the damage from Fukushima Daiichi.

Where have you been for the last 2 1/2 years?

To any sane person the price of Fukishima Daiichi has been too much to pay. Without Fukishima Daichi, Japan, after 3/11, would have followed the historical path of disaster then recovery. As it is, Japan, because of Fukishima Daichi, is following the path of disaster followed by disaster, 'where are we gonna dump this contaminated water and waste?'

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

To any sane person the price of Fukishima Daiichi has been too much to pay

Dog. Please concentrate. What I'm referring to is the actual cost of Fukushima Daiichi damages (compensation and cleanup) versus the added cost of virtually stopping all of NPP by relying exclusively on importation of fossil fuels which is succeptible to global supply/demand and of course, currency rates.

0 ( +4 / -3 )

@nigelboy

What "you" are paying mostly is for the added cost as a result of those people who demanded the virtual stoppage of the entire NPP hence the shift in reliance of imported carbon fuels.

Many of the reactors continued to operate after the nuclear disaster and into the spring of 2012, May if I remember correctly. But as investigations of Fukushima started to reveal that there were serious safety standard issues, the various safety agencies had no choice to have all the reactors shut down until new safety standards could be put in place and a series of inspections carried by the new NRA and in addition the problem that some reactors, like the No2 at the Tsuruga plant might be on active fault lines.

The power companies, and the whole nuclear village had more than five decades to ensure their atomic power plants were operating safety. There was no choice but to keep them shut down until those inspections are made and new safety measures installed, which in some areas, will take longer than five years.

While the reevaluation of the safety standards are needed, there comes a time where people need to seriously evaluate the neccessity of nuclear power for the status quo will ultimately cost the industry and citizens much more than the cost incurred by the damage from Fukushima Daiichi.

Only the NRA can decided when the reactors are safe to restart unless the Abe gov't decides to override them and take their own actions but I don't see that for the moment.

Some of the recent events are not encouraging that the power companies and nuclear companies are taking the situation seriously. Like at the Monju reactor, when last Nov NISA made a surprise visit and discovered a lack of safety requirements to carry out critical inspections on 10,000 components. They were hoping to restart that reactor by next March, but according to the NRA that won't be happening.

Even before the new safety standards have been agreed by the gov't and the inspections made, several of the nuclear energy companies have already made a request to restart some of their reactors this coming autumn.

You can try to continue to shift the blame to those anti nuclear people, but the current nuclear energy crisis clearly lies at the feet of the nuclear power companies and decades of the nuclear village.

For more than five decades the corruption by the nuclear village had been rampant, and included many LDP gov't's which basically gave the power companies a free hand, especially when it came to safety, and only called them to book when a serious event happened at one of their plants.

Its not easy for the new NRA to try and sort out the corruption it inherited from the previous story.

The stupid part of the story is that it would have cost the power companies less money to keep their plants updated than now trying to retrofit at a cost of about ¥200 billion per nuclear energy plant, times 18 plants. Added to the enormous costs of the nuclear disaster. Those enormous costs will be passed onto the consumer in their power charges.

No doubt, unless there's a strong protest from the people, some of the reactors will be started again but I at least hope, not until the NRA decides its safe to do so.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Many of the reactors continued to operate after the nuclear disaster and into the spring of 2012, May if I remember correctly. But as investigations of Fukushima started to reveal that there were serious safety standard issues, the various safety agencies had no choice to have all the reactors shut down until new safety standards could be put in place and a series of inspections carried by the new NRA and in addition the problem that some reactors, like the No2 at the Tsuruga plant might be on active fault lines.

I'm quite aware of the gradual shutdown of NPP to where it became zero. What I'm referring to is the actual necessity to hault the operation of virtually the entire NPP for these last two years when they could of done the revision of safety procedures as well as the operation of other NPP simultaneously. The monies spent on reliance of imported fuel, the manufacturing sector that simply could not survive due to the increase, and the lost business of communities that hosts these NPP could have meen greatly eased if cooler heads prevailed. But unfortunately, the cooler heads don't go around protesting like wild beasts so their rational voices never gets heard.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@nigelboy

What I'm referring to is the actual necessity to hault the operation of virtually the entire NPP for these last two years when they could of done the revision of safety procedures as well as the operation of other NPP simultaneously.

Except all the reactors haven't actually been closed down these past two years. The last one shut in May last year, and the two KEPCO reactors were quickly restarted shortly after that.

The last gov't decided that because of the level of corruption and incompetence in the nuclear village a new nuclear safety agency, now called the NRA was required. The NRA didn't even begin its work until about Sept last year, that's about 8 months and already they have made very good progress but it states its undermanned and under staffed because it can't find enough nuclear experts to work there. http://www.nsr.go.jp

The monies spent on reliance of imported fuel, the manufacturing sector that simply could not survive due to the increase, and the lost business of communities that hosts these NPP could have meen greatly eased if cooler heads prevailed.

Well for the time being that's the price paid for the cause of the nuclear disaster and the lack of safety at the atomic power plants and the responsibility is squarely on the shoulders of the power companies themselves.

But unfortunately, the cooler heads don't go around protesting like wild beasts so their rational voices never gets heard.

just more of your heresy....

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Except all the reactors haven't actually been closed down these past two years. The last one shut in May last year, and the two KEPCO reactors were quickly restarted shortly after that.

What part of "virtually" do you not understand? What I'm referring to were at least dozen or so NPP that requested to resume operation which was basically placed in the bottom draw by the old NIISA when the government was formulating the new safety guidelines and establishing a new body.

Well for the time being that's the price paid for the cause of the nuclear disaster and the lack of safety at the atomic power plants and the responsibility is squarely on the shoulders of the power companies themselves.

If any blame is to be made, it's one company and one company alone and not the rest of the energy companies and their NPP which is my point. I'll make it simple. What does HEPCO, Tohoku-EPCO, KEPCO, Kyushu-Den have to do with the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi Plant?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@nigelboy

If any blame is to be made, it's one company and one company alone and not the rest of the energy companies and their NPP which is my point. I'll make it simple. What does HEPCO, Tohoku-EPCO, KEPCO, Kyushu-Den have to do with the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi Plant?

Maybe you don't know or have just forgotten but some of the reactors owned by those power companies failed the required stress tests and none of them can ensure the safety of their reactors until they are retrofitted to better safety standards. The nuclear village has worked has one unit over the decades. I remember you commented many times that the nuclear disaster was the fault of the tsunami. Now you state it was just the fault of one company, TEPCO.

According to the NRA, three nuclear power plants might have been built on active fault lines, something they should have investigated before building them.

The standard of safety at the nuclear power plants wasn't even up to international ones.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Maybe you don't know or have just forgotten but some of the reactors owned by those power companies failed the required stress tests and none of them can ensure the safety of their reactors until they are retrofitted to better safety standards. The nuclear village has worked has one unit over the decades. I remember you commented many times that the nuclear disaster was the fault of the tsunami. Now you state it was just the fault of one company, TEPCO.

I don't think I have forgotten at all. The dozen or so NPP's application were submitted but majority of them were never reviewed. Their status was simply "submitted". (NISA link has expired but I do recall KEPCO alone had two NPP other than OI submitted the stress test in December 2011-Jan 2012)

And yeah. If I have to point the blame on a tangible entity, it will be TEPCO. But any sane person will realize that without the event of the tsunami, the nuclear accident in Fukushima would not happen.

And please do focus. What I'm stressing is the approval of restart of NPP and the restablishment of the new safety standards in a concurrent manner.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Do you want Government intervention? The power plants bid in to the system so they get paid a certain amount for the electricity they generate. If they cannot get paid there bid price, they don't run. That is part of hedging. Electric companies hedge their fuel in order to hedge their returns. It trickles down until you get brown outs. The biggest problem in Japan is the lack of power plants in general. In a supply demand economy, demand is up, but due to a lack of new construction, supply is tight and potential for massive power outages.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@nigelboy

And please do focus

You don't seem able to understand or address any of the serious issues with the current nuclear energy crisis.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

You don't seem able to understand or address any of the serious issues with the current nuclear energy crisis.

I do. There is a crisis increase rate that's hurting the country which will be an ongoing trend if the necessity of nuclear power is not emphasized.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

What a great way to use a crisis (Fukushima) to shut down the energy companies and consolidate. It will be interesting to see how the Japanese people respond. I remember after deregulation (all of the US) in California where people just accepted bills being 3-10x higher even when they had blackouts and brownouts (California would not build power plants so the energy came from corrupt energy brokers/speculators like Enron).

=Do not deregulate the Japanese energy industry or things will get worse.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Meanwhile, in the rest of the economy - the 240 largest Japanese corporations are going to be paying on average the highest summer bonuses since 1990

Upgreyedd,

This is only to keep the govt off their back, get back to us when wages actually go up & people are being hired, the above is only a smokescreen.

Some Japanese(not enough) finally figured the "bonus" in reality just allows companies to control about 30% of peoples salary without staff being able to do squat about

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh for the love of god folks what did you honestly expect was going to happen to your energy prices when you live in a country that has very little fossil fuel sources to exploit and it is forced import pretty much all of it and then combine that with the yen depreciating in value?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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