TEPCO subject of further scrutiny over operations and rate hikes

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The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) recently sought to raise residential rates by an average 10.28 percent as part of efforts to deal with huge costs related to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Around the same time, the utility also announced its intentions to seek to restart the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, and denied any final decisions had been made related to the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant.

TEPCO asked to revise rate calculations

In a report submitted to Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano on Thursday, an expert panel–chaired by Chuo University Prof. Junji Annen–said TEPCO should instead reduce some costs it plans to pass on in its electricity charges, including contributions to the employee health insurance program and costs for purchases of liquefied natural gas for thermal power generation.

TEPCO had previously applied to the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry to increase electricity charges for general households by an average 10.28 percent.

An expert panel’s report called on TEPCO to remove from calculations of household power rates both its advertising costs and fixed asset tax costs for the crippled reactors at the Fukushima plant, which are scheduled to be decommissioned.

Government considering cutting the salaries of TEPCO employees

On the same day the central government also announced it was considering cutting the salaries of Tokyo Electric Power Co. employees by an additional 10 percentage points, to offset an expected reduction in the utility’s planned rate hike.

TEPCO has come under harsh scrutiny over the utility’s planned cuts, which were seen as inadequate.  But, the utility remains opposed an additional pay cut, arguing that it would lower the morale of employees engaged in restoration work at the crippled Fukushima power plant.

Arbitration officials accuse TEPCO of unfairly delaying legal settlements

Arbitration officials have also criticized Tokyo Electric Power Company for unfairly delaying legal settlements with victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

An official on the arbitration board, Hiroshi Noyama, says TEPCO has become increasingly unresponsive, starting earlier this year.   Noyama adds he senses a problem in the attitude of the entire company.

Source: The Yomiuri

Source: NHK

Source: The Yomiuri

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