Structure of the Electric Power Business
Companies engaged in electric power business in Japan are classified as General Electric Utilities, Wholesale Electric Utilities, Independent Power Producers (IPP), Power Producers and Suppliers, and Specified Electric Utilities.
TEPCO is in the General Electric Utility category. This means we are a full-service electric power company providing users (customers) with electric power generation, transmission, and distribution. Japan has ten power companies in this category, namely, Hokkaido Electric Power Company, Tohoku Electric Power Company, TEPCO, Chubu Electric Power Company, Hokuriku Electric Power Company, Kansai Electric Power Company, Chugoku Electric Power Company, Shikoku Electric Power Company, Kyushu Electric Power Company, and Okinawa Electric Power Company.
For a long time the electric power business in Japan was dominated the General Electric Utilities, which had monopoly control in their respective service areas. After a revised Electric Utilities Industry Law went into effect in 1995, however (along with two later revisions), the situation has been changing significantly starting with the liberalization of power generation and partial liberalization of retail sales.
The Changing Electric Power Business Structure
- Up to 1995 (before liberalization)
- Wholesale Electric Utilities :
- Businesses having supply capacity of 2 million kW or above and supplying electricity to General Electric Utilities. Examples are J-POWER and The Japan Atomic Power Company.
- Wholesale Suppliers (IPPs, etc.) :
- Businesses other than Wholesale Electric Utilities supplying electricity to General Electric Utilities, contracting with them for supply of 1,000 kW or more for at least 10 years, or of 100,000 kW or more for at least five years.
- Power Producers and Suppliers :
- Businesses supplying electricity to customers contracted for 50 kW or more, using the power line networks of General Electric Utilities. These are new entrants in the liberalized retail segment.
- Specified Electric Utilities :
- Businesses supplying electricity to certain defined areas using their own power generation and distribution facilities, such as power lines.