Coldest Blast in 48 Years Hits Tokyo as Power Prices Hold Gains

A man walks past as a woman takes photographs on the snow-covered grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Jan. 23, 2018.

Photographer: Takaaki Iwabu/Bloomberg

Power prices remained near the highest in three years after the coldest temperatures since 1970 struck Tokyo.

Japan’s 24-hour average spot electricity price for delivery Jan. 26 slipped 0.8 percent to 18.11 yen per kilowatt hour, according to data from the Japan Electric Power Exchange compiled by Bloomberg. Prices in the previous session rose to the highest since Dec. 18, 2014.

The temperature in Tokyo fell to -4 degrees Celsius (24.8 degrees Fahrenheit) at 6:20 a.m. on Thursday, the coldest since January 1970, according to data from the Japan Meteorological Agency. The weather boosted demand for electricity for heating and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., known as Tepco, said it expects its reserve rate to fall to as low as 3.4 percent.


  • 9am spot price -4.1% to 25.91 yen/kWh
  • 12pm spot price +3.2% to 10.59 yen/kWh
  • 5pm spot price +5.1% to 32.6 yen/kWh
  • Prices ranged between 9.59 yen/kWh and 36 yen/kWh


  • East Japan spot power traded at 1.09 yen premium to prices in west
    • East Japan avg spot price +2.8% to 18.75 yen/kWh
    • West Japan avg spot price -4.1% to 17.67 yen/kWh
  • NOTE: Avg based on Bloomberg calculations using JEPX data


  • Unplanned outages listed on JEPX website include:
    • Jan. 19: JR East’s gas-fired 187.4MW No. 2 unit at its Kawasaki facility. No restart date set
    • Jan. 16: Tepco’s fuel oil-fired 1,000MW No. 6 unit at its Kashima facility. No restart date set
    • Jan. 15, 2017: Tepco’s 350MW No. 3 unit at its Imaichi hydroelectric facility. Set to restart Sept. 30, 2018
  • For Japan outage stories, click here
  • NOTE: 4 of Japan’s 40 operable reactors are online


  • Avg temperature forecast +0.9C to 0.3C on Jan. 26 as of 10:35 am in Tokyo: Customweather
  • 5-year median for Jan. 26 is 3.6C
  • Feb. 1 temperature forecast 3.73C, +4.30C from Jan. 25
  • Cloudy weather forecast for most of Japan on Jan. 26, according to JMA


  • Nationwide power demand on Jan. 26 to range between 106,948MW and 149,341MW, according to a Jan. 18 forecast by OCCTO
  • Demand on Jan. 27 to range between 102,918MW and 132,225MW: OCCTO


  • Tokyo Temperature Extends Plunge to Coldest Since 1970: JMA
  • Electricity Flow to Tokyo Maxes Out Amid Supply Crunch: Chart
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