Domestic electricity market liberalisation

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Would you like to change your electricity provider? graph of japanese statistics

I’ve seen surprisingly little written (in English) about the topic of this survey from @Nifty into the recent electricity market liberalisation, which allows people to choose their domestic electricity billing company.

We’ve changed from Tokyo Electricity to Tokyo Gas, which was very little bother apart from a new smart meter installation. It means we get one bill instead of two, and just a little cheaper than before, but their contract can be cancelled at any time for no penalty, unlike many other new providers who have 18 month to three year minimum terms!
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Electricity market liberalisation

How do you rate electricity market liberalisation? graph of japanese statisticsNext month the marketplace for domestic electricity will be opened up, allowing many companies to sell electricity direct to consumers, rather than the current situation of monopoly providers. Belle Maison Lifestyle Research Labs recently conducted a survey into electricity liberalisation to see how aware people were of their new choices.

I’ve already signed up with Tokyo Gas; they seem to have the best deal going overall, and they are only one of three companies that have no compulsory contract length, so we can change any time; many other providers have one or two year terms that may lock you into a bad deal.
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Majority choosing paraffin or gas over electricity for winter heat

Are you thinking about using a paraffin or gas stove instead of an air conditioner this winter? graph of japanese statisticsWith the winter drawing in, and with the continued threat of power cuts – the Kansai area power supplier has asked for voluntary 10% cuts, and now imports of Iranian crude are threatened – people are thinking how best to heat their homes, so this survey from goo Research, reported on by japan.internet.com, looked at saving electricity in winter.

Research results

Between the 5th and 11th of December 2011 1,050 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.0% of the sample were male, 15.9% in their teens, 18.1% in their twenties, 21.1% in their thirties, 16.8% in their forties, 15.8% in their fifties, and 12.3% aged sixty or older.

I saw some back-of-the-envelope calculations that showed that per thermal unit, heat from paraffin (kerosene) was half the price of electricity in Japan, but I don’t know where gas stands in the equation. Problems, though, with liquid fuel include the smell, higher risk of fire, and of carbon monoxide poisoning from ill-maintained devices. Furthermore, with liquid fuel, and free-standing gas heaters, it is recommended to air the room once an hour, so much of the heat tends to escape. On the other hand, electric heaters dry the air badly. We have underfloor heating in the living room and dining room, but I’m not convinced of its usefulness except when sleeping on the floor!
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One in four Japanese looking at battery-powered fans

Would you like to buy a battery-powered fan? graph of japanese statisticsWith the ongoing threats of mass blackouts this summer due in no small part to the power requirements of air conditioners, one solution people seem to be looking at is battery-powered fans, the particular focus of a report on japan.internet.com of a survey by goo Research into saving electricity, the second time this survey has been conducted.

Demographics

Between the 17th and 21st of June 2011 1,063 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.0% of the sample were male, 16/6% in their teens, 18.2% in their twenties, 20.9% in their thirties, 16.5% in their forties, 15.9% in their fifties, and 12.0% aged sixty or older.

Many of the electrical stores are sold out of mains-powered fans – I picked up mine about a month ago while there were still lots to choose from – so perhaps battery-powered ones are the only thing left in stock, going some way to explaining the larger than I might expect headline figure. Note that the fans being talked about are large free-standing fans, not these minature toy ones.
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Two in three showing power cut solidarity

Have you been saving electricity due to power cuts? graph of japanese statisticsWith Renho, the minister for power cuts, and television advertisements scolding us about using electricity due to ongoing shortage of generation facilities in the Tokyo and northward caused by a slight problem you might have hear something about, iShare took a look at if and how people were saving electricity.

Demographics

Over the 29th and 30th of March 2011, 1,697 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 51.3% of the sample were male, 3.6% in their twenties, 47.0% in their thirties, and 49.4% in their forties.

Every time my mother emails me she always comments about how stoic and resolute the people in the affected areas are when they are interviewed on television, so I’m sure she’ll be impressed by Q3B, showing that over a third of these in unaffected areas are saving electricity too. Areas south of about Mount Fuji or so are on 60 Hertz, so we cannot donate much electricity up to the 50 Hertz north, so there is no logical reason for us to cut back, but for reasons of moral support we are.
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