On February 14, 2013, the Tohoku Electric Power has filed a request with the Japanese government to hike electricity rates from the month of July 2013. If the hiked rates are implemented, then the cost of household electricity will be increased by 11.41% per month.
The increase in electricity costs will lead to an average monthly rate hike of 540 yen. The utility is seeking a hike of 17.74% for businesses and other high consumers. The Tohoku Electric Power Co. has its headquarters in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, while the utility supplies power to six prefectures in the Tohoku region along with the Niigata Prefecture.
Makoto Kaiwa, the Tohoku Electric Power Co. president said at a news conference that the utility did not have any other choice than to increase the rates of electricity due to tough economic conditions. Kaiwa said that his company will do everything that it could to cut back costs and that all the executives will take a 20% salary cut for three years.
The electric company had hoped that the government will give it permission to restart its idled Higashidori nuclear plant in the Aomori Prefecture by the year 2015. However, now there appears to be some doubt after a panel commissioned by the Nuclear Regulation Authority said that in January 2013, two major faults underneath the plant were believed to be active.