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Power & gas companies slash utility prices

Date Posted: 2009-04-02

Okinawa Power is one of the nation’s ten largest utility and gas companies cutting prices to consumers, passing along the second best set of new prices.

Decreases in crude oil prices have given Okinawa Power Company and nine others an opportunity to trim prices amidst the economic downturn. The price cuts began April 1st, with Okinawa Power shaving tariffs by an average ¥528 per household. Government officials say the average cost across Japan is dropping ¥602 per month.

Utilities costs have been linked to a system formula first introduced in 1996. As crude oil and natural gas prices rise rapidly, utility costs do too. Officials say this could be only the beginning; further cuts are anticipated in June. Tokyo led the price reductions, with fees down ¥607 per household. Okinawa’s ¥528 per household was second best, followed by Hokkaido Power Company down to ¥393, Central Power ¥369 and Kyushu Power Company down ¥204.

Osaka Gas Company dropped prices ¥348, Tokyo Gas ¥323, and Seibu Gas down ¥292. Quarterly rate adjustments, which used to be the norm under the old system, have been replaced with monthly adjustments due to fluctuating raw fuel costs. Companies caution they’ll each be making independent rate chanes based upon how much power or gas is being used.

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