Domestic electricity market liberalisation


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!

Research results

Q1: How interested are you in electricity liberalisation? (Sample size=3,121)

Very interested8%12%
Somewhat interested29%37%
Can’t say either way26%24%
Not really interested25%20%
Not at all interested11%7%

Q2: For where do you gather information about electricity liberalisation? (Sample size=3,121, multiple answer)

Television news48%
Internet news39%
Power company web site25%
Television program (non-news)17%
Internet site (non-news14%
Leaflet, free paper9%
Price comparison site8%
Radio program2%
Facebook, Twitter, other SNS0%
Nowhere in particular23%

By age group, the over sixties were the only group to have over 50% in using television news and newspapers for information. Indeed, over three times as many over sixties as under thirties used newspapers.

Q3: With the introduction of electricity liberalisation, would you like to change your electricity provider? (Sample size=3,121)

Have already changed7%
If my bill will be cheaper I want to change47%
Even if my bill will be cheaper I don’t want to change15%
Even if I wanted to change I can’t7%
Don’t really know24%

Q4: What don’t you understand, are worried about regarding electricity liberalisation? (Sample size=3,121, multiple answer)

Don’t know if there’s a billing plan that suits me29%34%
Procedures for changing providers look bothersome26%36%
Electricity supply may become unreliable27%33%
Don’t know the best way to compare each company’s plans25%26%
Don’t know what companies I can contract with in my area24%26%
If I change once, it might be difficult to change again22%31%
If the company I change to goes bust what will happen?22%31%
If I change, might my electricity bill actually increase?18%20%
What services are they offering?16%18%
Can I select any company even if I live in an apartment block?12%18%
Don’t even know what electricity liberalisation is12%12%
Power cuts might increase10%12%
Might the quality of electricity vary between companies?7%14%
Might my electricity service be interrupted during the application process?4%7%
Don’t have any worries, lack of understanding17%12%

Q5: When selecting an electricity provider, what points are/might be important? (Sample size=3,121, multiple answer)

Cheap price62%56%
Reliable supply of electricity43%51%
Good support response39%54%
Easy to understand pricing plans39%47%
Pricing plans that meet my needs37%48%
No minimum contract length35%37%
Easy to understand application process33%43%
Attractive set discounts16%15%
Uses green energy11%16%
Offered by large, well-known firm10%12%
Has sign-up promotional offers8%11%
Can earn points8%11%
Local company5%7%
Good reviews from friends, family2%6%
Nothing in particular11%8%

Q6: Which of the following companies offering set discounts do you find attractive? (Sample size=3,121, multiple answer)

Gas companies42%46%
Mobile phone operators26%25%
Internet service providers23%19%
Credit card companies15%20%
Petrol stations13%8%
Convenience stores7%8%
Cable television companies6%5%
Car companies3%1%
Travel agents2%3%
Estate agents1%2%
Nothing in particular39%36%

Q7: Which of the following measures do you take to save electricity in the summer months? (Sample size=3,121, multiple answer)

Be sure to switch off unused appliances51%
Set the air conditioner temperature a little higher46%
Switch to LED lights32%
Set a lower temperature on heated toilet seat, bottom washer27%
Unplug unused appliances24%
Don’t use air conditioner22%
Switch to electricity saving appliances12%
Take measures to block heat from entering windows12%
Turn down the brightness on TV, monitor, etc11%
Set air conditioner to automatic operation9%
Change refrigerator temperature setting8%
Use off-peak electricity7%
Decrease contracted ampere rate4%
Review the basic electricity contract3%
None of the above14%


Between the 17th and 23rd of June 2016 3,121 members of the @nifty monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographics were provided.

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