Regional utilities have long dominated the power market, but companies and local governments are starting to get interested in new retailers offering much cheaper rates.

This rise is especially true since the Fukushima No. 1 crisis erupted last year and its operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., decided to hike fees by 17 percent for large-lot users from April 1 to cover the rising cost of burning fossil fuels to offset its complete loss of nuclear power.

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