Set my electrons free!
The electricity market is going to be opened up from April this year, and consumers will be able to buy their electricity from a number of companies instead of their local monopoly.
I think this is a hugely positive step. I also find it hilarious to see the electricity companies slowly realizing that they will have to compete for customers instead of just sitting there enjoying government subsidies. My local utility, Tohoku Electric, just sent us a rather desperate-sounding leaflet announcing 'new pricing plans better suited to customers!' and 'loyalty points!'. Gee, thanks for subjecting us to pricing plans unsuited to customers for the last fifteen years... ;)
Personally, I would like to see cheaper bills but more importantly I would like to use only renewable energy. Softbank and even convenience stores are planning to enter the energy market, which will give the people of Japan a chance to influence energy policy through grass-roots action.
There's an explanation in Japanese here, and a Japan Times editorial here.
Now, there is a chance that prices will go up, but I don't see that as a negative if it pushes people to use more insulation or more energy-efficient products and think about their energy use more.
Did you know about the energy market plans? Any information to add?