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.

Research results

Q1: Are you aware of saving electricity in your everyday activities? (Sample size=3,194)

To some degree57.9%
Not really15.3%
Not at all1.3%

Q2: Do you check your electricity bill? (Sample size=3,194)

Every month74.7%
Some months16.2%
Not often6.4%
Not at all2.7%

Q3: What aspects of your electricity bill do you check? (Sample size=3,194)

Just total bill, total consumption76.9%
Specific details like individual rates, consumption18.7%
None of them4.5%

Q4: Do you know that there are different rates depending on how much electricity you use? (Sample size=3,194)

Sort of aware45.1%

Q5: How interested are you in the electricity market liberalisation? (Sample size=3,194)

Somewhat interested42.2%
Can’t say either way23.9%
Not really interested8.6%
Not at all interested1.2%

Q6: How much do you know about the electricity market liberalisation? (Sample size=3,194)

Know the finer details1.8%
Know the details18.4%
Heard about it, but don’t know the details54.8%
Heard about it, and sort-of know the details23.7%
Not heard about it1.2%

Q7: From where have you learnt about the electricity market liberalisation? (Sample size=3,194, multiple answer)

Television information programs55.9%
Newspapers, free papers, leaflets30.7%
Internet search24.8%
Magazines, power company brochures23.1%
Power companies, other corporate web pages10.0%
Price comparison sites9.2%
Word of mouth from friends, family7.7%
Radio information programs2.4%
Work colleagues1.7%
Nowhere in particular15.9%

Q8: How do you rate the effect of electricity market liberalisation on society? (Sample size=3,194)

Good thing24.8%
Perhaps good thing42.0%
Can’t say either way31.8%
Perhaps bad thing1.0%
Bad thing0.4%

Q9: How do you think the electricity market liberalisation will affect electricity prices? (Sample size=3,194)

Get cheaper37.7%
Not change35.8%
Get more expensive3.0%
Don’t know23.5%

Q10: Do you think you will change electricity provider? (Sample size=3,194)

Already decided to (to SQ2, SQ3)1.4%
Investigating doing so (to SQ2, SQ3)9.6%
Will investigate before liberalisation starts (to SQ2, SQ3)18.8%
Will wait and see how liberalisation goes first (to SQ2, SQ3)54.7%
Not thinking about changing (to SQ1)15.6%

Q10SQ1: Why are you not thinking about changing electricity provider? (Sample size=497, multiple answer)

Don’t think it will be cheaper if I change33.2%
Don’t know which company to choose31.6%
Too much bother to change provider28.0%
Not dissatisified with current provider28.0%
Worried that new providers will go bust, drop out17.1%
Don’t know the details of the liberalisation15.9%
Have a contract that I cannot change13.7%

Q10SQ2: What points are important when selecting an electricity provider? (Sample size=2,697, multiple answer)

Cheapness of electricity77.9%
Easy to understand pricing, paperwork67.6%
Little paperwork needed to change providers50.8%
Company reputation48.3%
Can choose from many plans for specific time bands, seasons, etc43.0%
Good support from call centre, etc32.8%
Uses energy from renewables27.7%
Easy to switch to different plans from the same provider26.5%
Set discounts when combined with gas, internet, etc19.0%
Word of mouth information from friends, family13.2%
Price comparison site availability12.1%
Local firm3.7%
SNS information1.4%

Q10SQ3: What aspects of the electricity market liberalisation are you taking note of? (Sample size=2,697, multiple answer)

If I enter into a contract, it might be a bother to switch to another provider64.8%
As there are lots of companies entering the market, I won’t know the best company to select56.7%
As companies increase, power cuts or other trouble might occur39.0%
If companies go bust, withdraw from the market I might not be able to get electricity38.2%
Different companies or different power producers could lead to price differences27.4%
The big cities will have lots of choices, but there may be less merits for smaller towns23.2%
No particular aspects2.1%


Between the 3rd and 18th of February 2016 3,194 people completed a survey, but no information was provided on how the sample was selected, etc. 3.6% of the sample were in their twenties, 26.7% in their thirties, 42.4% in their forties, 23.2% in their fifties, and 4.0% in their sixties.

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