Week In Smart Metering-Japan's Market Liberalisation

Will Japan's energy consumers embrace a new retail landscape, asks Rose Bundock, digital editor at Metering & Smart Energy International.
Published: Thu 25 Feb 2016

Our thoughts this week are turning to Asia as three of us from the Metering & Smart Energy International team prepare to leave for Tokyo to attend Intl' Smart Grid Expo taking place 2-4 March, 2016, writes Rose Bundock, digital editor at Metering & Smart Energy International.

Japan stands on the brink of market liberalisation, first for electricity in April 2016 followed by gas the year after and it will be fascinating to see how the country’s story of deregulation plays out.

Incumbent utilities are revving up to take on new market entrants - with Tokyo Electric Power (the utility that runs Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant) predicting that competition to secure large power users will be “fierce”.

Price wars are expected and the former monopoly power companies estimate they can offer discount to residential customers aided by “our business partners entering the retail business shouldering some of the price reduction”, says TEPCO.

Today we report on Osaka-based utility Kansai Electric diverting some of the gas it imports to fuel fossil-fuel plants to resell to consumers, another way to retain market share.

The question is - will Japanese consumers embrace a new retail landscape? We'll report on this and other development's in Japan's smart energy market next week from Tokyo.


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