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POWER UTILITY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Japanese utilities' electricity sales has been dropping for six years now

Sales shrunk by 1.7% in April 2016-March 2017 period.

The electricity sales by the ten regional power utilities in Japan contracted by 1.7% in the April 2016 - March 2017 year, posting a new decline for the sixth year in a row, according to Enerdata.

The electricity consumption in Japan has been hit by supply restrictions since the 2011 Fukushima disaster and contracted by 4% between 2011 and 2015. In April 2016, the electricity market was opened up, removing regional barriers and cross-ownership barriers and allowing new suppliers to enter the retail market.

"Consequently, the ten former regional monopolies lost more than 3.4 million customers, that switched to other suppliers. TEPCO lost 1.81 million retail power customers in its traditional sales area and won only 50,000 new customers outside its area, which led to a 11.7% fall in its power sales. Kansai Electric lost 721,500 customers (it won 12,000 new customers), while Kyushu Electric lost 217,300 customers (2,300 won) and Chubu Electric lost 295,100 customers (100,000 won)," Enerdata said.

Gas companies won most of the retail electricity customers having switched: Osaka Gas picked up around 320,000 retail power accounts from Kansai Electric, which in turn won 140,000 gas retail customers from Osaka Gas. 

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