Tepco Energy Partner Inc. will start selling gas to households next July in response to the full liberalization of the gas retail market coming in April.

Tepco Energy Partner, a unit of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., also said Monday it has concluded a basic wholesale agreement to supply gas to Nippon Gas Co., a major liquefied natural gas provider.

The two companies aim to win 150,000 new customers together in the service area of Tokyo Gas Co., until now the region's monopoly gas supplier, in the initial year of the alliance.

Last May, Tepco EP and Nippon Gas concluded a contract to switch the wholesale gas supplier for 320,000 current Nippon Gas customers to the Tepco unit from Tokyo Gas starting in April.

Tepco EP and Nippon Gas will discuss the possibility of jointly setting up a new company in a bid to expand their alliance and boost their competitive position against Tokyo Gas.