Regulatory Reform of Public Utilities

Regulatory Reform of Public Utilities

The Japanese Experience

Fumitoshi Mizutani

Covering issues such as deregulation, privatization, organizational reforms, and competition policy, Regulatory Reform of Public Utilities provides a comprehensive summary of regulatory reforms in Japanese public utility industries.

Chapter 3: Electric Power

Fumitoshi Mizutani

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics


Liberalization in the electric power industry is taking place in industrial countries, as Sioshansi (2006) points out in his summary of recent electricity market reforms. Hattori and Tsutsui (2004) classify types of liberalization in the electricity supply industry in OECD countries and examine the economic impact of regulatory reforms. According to Satake (2002), liberalization of markets of users with more than 1000kw began in 1990 in the UK, with all UK electricity retail services liberalized by 1995, while in Germany liberalization was accomplished in 1998. Jamasb and Pollitt (2007) summarize the lessons of Britain’s liberalization experience. In the US, full liberalization of the electricity market was completed in the state of California in 1998. Japan’s progress toward full liberalization has in comparison been slow. The main purpose of this chapter is to overview the structure of the Japanese electric power industry and its regulatory scheme. Electric power has traditionally been supplied by 10 regional private company monopolies.

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