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Tokyo Gas takes aim at TEPCO with household electricity prices

Preparing for its venture into the deregulated electricity market starting in April 2016, Tokyo Gas Co. announced its power prices on Dec. 24, crowing that it could offer households lower rates than Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which currently has a regional monopoly.

    "For those households generally using more than 300 kilowatt-hours of power per month, we can offer lower prices than Tokyo Electric's current usual rates," the gas company announcement stated, taking aim at families that use a lot of electricity. Tokyo Gas will begin taking customers on Jan. 4, 2016.

    Under the Tokyo Gas electricity plans, customers will pay a lower rate compared to TEPCO the more electricity they use. Customers who sign on for a gas-plus-electricity plan will also get a 250 yen discount on their monthly basic fees.

    The average household in the TEPCO service area currently consumes about 290 kilowatt-hours of electricity monthly, but households topping that could benefit from the Tokyo Gas dual utility plans. For example, the average Tokyo family of three living in a detached home and using 392 kilowatt-hours of power monthly would have an annual bill of about 118,000 yen. Tokyo Gas claims that the same family would pay around 5,000 yen less under one of its gas-plus-power plans.

    The dual utility contracts will also contain provisions for an "express" trouble-shooting service, with Tokyo Gas dealing with any kitchen, washroom or other problems round the clock. Customers will also get free access to some parts of the company's members-only recipe website. Customers can also get 300 yen knocked off their monthly bill if they opt for Tokyo Gas packages including fiber optic lines offered in partnership with seven telecommunications firms.

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