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Tepco pulls plug on idled firm for refusing rate hike

JIJI

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has pulled the plug on a recreational facility operator in Chiba Prefecture after the operator allowed its contract to lapse when Tepco raised its rates.

It is reportedly the first time a major power supplier has halted electricity because of unpaid fees after the rejection of a contract renewal.

According to sources at Tepco, the recreational facility operator effectively halted its business earlier this year.

Tepco has not released the name of the company. The sources said it had told Tepco that it couldn’t pay its overdue bills, which totaled millions of yen.

The utility notified the company of its decision to halt electricity supply in a letter in late May and flipped the switch off Tuesday, the sources said.

A senior Tepco official said the utility did not want to cut the company off, but it had no choice because the fees hadn’t been paid.

Tepco decided in February to stop power supplies to customers whose contracts expire after rejecting rate hikes.

Since then, it has sent letters to around 130 users to inform them of the decision, and nearly half have now accepted the rate hike.