• Kyodo

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Kansai Electric Power Co. on Monday raised prices on households again, saying higher costs for imported fossil fuels had worsened business conditions in the absence of nuclear power.

The price hike is the second by the major utility since the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant caused the shutdown of all the nation’s nuclear power plants for safety inspections.

Electricity prices will rise by an average 4.62 percent for the four months through September, and by 8.36 percent starting in October. Electricity prices have thus increased by around 20 percent over the past two years alone.

The electricity bill for an average household is projected to jump from ¥7,932 to ¥8,208 from June, and to ¥8,481 from October, according to the utility, which serves Osaka and surrounding areas.

Kepco had heavily relied on atomic power before the man-made disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. With all of its atomic plants offline, the company posted a group net loss of ¥148.38 billion in the business year ended in March, its fourth consecutive year in the red.