Liberalization of Gas Supply Expected in 2016

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)

The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) plans to move forward with liberating the gas market for households in 2016. In doing so, the ministry is hoping that the increased competition in the market will lead to decreased prices and enhanced services. This is expected to be followed by a full liberalization of the electricity industry in the same year, and the separation of the power generation and supply/transmission sectors sometime between 2018 and 2020.

As part of this initiative, METI hopes to convene a panel of experts in October. Comprised of academics, energy experts, and consumer representatives, the panel will examine the current system as well as discuss revisions to the Gas Business Law that currently allows for the regional monopoly of gas retailing to households.