Renewables to up electricity bills by ¥100 a month

JIJI

Monthly electricity bills for average households will rise by an estimated ¥70 to ¥100 to cover the purchase of renewable energy by utilities, according to the industry ministry.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry revealed the projected price hikes Friday, after a government panel earlier in the week announced that power companies will be charged ¥42 per kwh for solar power.

Under legislation that will take effect in July, utilities will have to purchase electricity generated through solar, wind and geothermal energy from power suppliers.

Following the system’s introduction, power companies will raise electricity rates to pass on additional costs incurred to customers, starting from August.

METI’s estimates are predicated on an average household using 300 kwh of electricity a month.

The projections are also based on the assumption that the amount of solar energy generated by homes will increase by 1.5 million kw in the current fiscal year, and that output from massive new solar power plants will rise by 500,000 kw.

The government hopes that by sharing the additional financial burden among households, it will be able to promote the use of renewable energy more quickly and reduce the country’s reliance on nuclear power, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano told a news conference.