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Japan Gives Consumers Greater Sway in Choosing Power Retailers

  • Households able to select electricity provider for first time
  • More than 250 companies cleared to sell power in open market

Japanese consumers will be able to choose their power providers for the first time Friday as part of a decades-long opening of the county’s electricity market aimed at weakening the grip of regional power utilities.

The opening is being promoted as a way to lower prices and create opportunities for foreign investors in the nation’s low-voltage electric market, giving greater choice to roughly 85 million households and small businesses, which account for about 38 percent of consumption. The liberalization follows earlier reforms for high-voltage consumers.