Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry approves deferred payment of fees ― Special measures for electricity and gas charges due to the spread of new coronavirus infection
On 19th March, METI (The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) announced of an approval of the special measures for electricity and gas charges on the same day which was requested by major electricity and gas companies due to the spread of the new coronavirus. It will grant the one month grace period by providing the loans such as emergency small funds for the individuals who are temporarily unable to make payment. METI will examine re-extension of the period while observing the trends and requested the consideration for the decision to suspend supply.
On the evening of 18th February, METI requested the special measures to the major electricity and gas companies based on the “Emergency measures in response to the anxiety of life ” determined by the government’s headquarters for new coronavirus infection (Head= Prime Minister Shinzo Abe). In response to this, each company applied for the special measures and those were approved on the same day. The permission was based on the opinions of the Electricity and Gas Market Surveillance Commission.
As for the details of the special measures, the due date of payment for electricity will be postponed for one month stipulated in the consignment supply clause and Specific retail supply clause. Hiroshi Kajiyama, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, stated at the post-Cabinet press conference on 19th February, “First, postpone one month. After that, major electricity and gas companies will be requested to respond flexibly according to the situation.
This measure applies to those individuals who obtain loans of emergency small funds or comprehensive support funds and temporarily unable to make payment due to the spread of new coronavirus infection. Although the regulated charges of major electricity companies were approved, METI also requested that PPS (Power Producer and Supplier) to take similar measures to ensure fairness. Each electricity retailers started to accept applications from the target on 25th February.
In connection with this, METI also requested each business operators to deal with the delays of payment by customers. METI requested to make decision of whether to stop the supply in consideration of the customers situation.