Kepco plans to buy back saved power


Kansai Electric Power Co. will introduce a megawatt trading scheme under which the utility will buy saved electricity from large-lot corporate customers through auctions.

Kepco is boasting it will be the first Japanese power-supply firm to use such a mechanism.

Under the scheme, the utility will put out to tender a specific amount of electricity that it wants customers to save on a certain day between July 2 and Sept. 7, when electricity demand is expected to reach more than 97 percent of supply capacity.

The company will put up details, such as the dates, timing and amounts, on Fridays and continue settling deals from the lowest-priced bids until the day before to secure sufficient electricity reserves.

Some 7,000 large-lot customers in Kepco’s service area can participate in the bidding by stating how much electricity they will save on a specific day and for how much.

If a successful bidder fails to save at least 90 percent of the promised amount of electricity, it will have to pay a fine to the power firm.

Kepco also plans to introduce a power-saving promotional mechanism for business customers that use an electricity management system, which controls the use of electricity for lighting, air conditioning and other uses at offices and plants.

The company will ask such customers, through energy management firms, to save certain amounts of electricity ahead of the day on which electricity is expected to be in short supply.

In exchange for the saved electricity, Kepco will pay bonuses to the customers and management firms.

Osakans urged to go out


The Osaka Prefectural Government will start a campaign to encourage residents to spend more time out of their houses during summer to cut electricity use for home air conditioners.

The campaign comes after the central government earlier this month asked customers of Kansai Electric Power Co., including those in Osaka Prefecture, to cut electricity use by 15 percent from 2010.

As part of the campaign, the prefectural government will seek support from the private sector, including department stores and movie theaters.

It will open a website in mid-June to list the companies that are helping out.

Major retailer Aeon Co. is considering discounting products during peak electric use hours, while Osaka government-affiliated museums and swimming pools will offer discounts.