• Kyodo

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Some 64 percent of people responding to an online survey say they want to change their electric power supplier when the household market is freed up in April 2016 and new entrants are allowed.

With multiple answers allowed, “low prices” was cited by 75.5 percent of respondents, the most of any response, in what will affect choosing a supplier, according to ad agency Hakuhodo Inc., which surveyed 1,000 people in their 20s to 60s across Japan last September.

A Hakuhodo official said the results suggest the race to win customers will intensify among electric companies ahead of the liberalization of the market, which has long been divided into regional monopolies.

Easily understandable pricing and procedures was the second-most popular factor at 54.4 percent, followed by safety and security, and quality of service.

Only 9.6 percent said they will choose their supplier based on whether it is a local company.

Asked how large a price cut will be necessary to get them to consider changing suppliers, the most popular choice was 10 to 15 percent, selected by 24.8 percent of the respondents.

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