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Electricity and Gas Market Surveillance Commission The EGC and the NCAC Concluded an Agreement for Consumer Protection Toward the full liberalization of entry into the gas retail market

Prior to the full liberalization of entry into the electricity retail market started in April 2016, the Electricity Market Surveillance Commission (EMSC) at the time and the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan (NCAC) concluded, in February 2016, a partnership agreement for the enhanced protection of consumers to prevent them from being involved in problems caused by electricity contracts with businesses or fraud by malicious businesses.

Following the full liberalization of entry into the electricity retail market, the gas retail market is scheduled to be fully liberalized in April 2017, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) considers it very important to develop an environment in which consumers are able to avoid being involved in problems with gas businesses. In light of this awareness, on December 15, 2016, the Electricity and Gas Market Surveillance Commission (EGC) and the NCAC also concluded a partnership agreement for the enhanced protection of consumers associated with the full liberalization of entry into the gas retail market.

1: Conclusion of the EGC-NCAC partnership agreement

Associated with the full liberalization of entry into the gas retail market, to strengthen the policy to prevent consumers from being involved in problems caused by gas contracts with businesses or fraud by malicious businesses, the EGC and the NCAC concluded a Partnership Agreement for the Strengthening of Measures for Preventing Consumer Trouble Associated with the Full Liberalization of Entry into the Electricity and Gas Retail Market, aiming to execute such prevention measures through mutual collaboration and cooperation between the EGC and the NCAC.

Under the agreement, the EGC and the NCAC will provide advice to the public and implement other necessary measures for addressing such problems that the public report to the NCAC and other entities, and they will announce the measures as their joint measures, in principle.

In addition, the EGC will implement other measures for consumer protection under the agreement and will also commit to conducting efforts necessary for the full liberalization of entry into the gas retail market starting in April 2017, including:
- Holding explanatory meetings concerning such liberalization for consumers and other stakeholders at ten regional Bureaus of Economy, Trade and Industry and other related offices across Japan, and
- Addressing inquiries from consumers through telephone consultation services.

2. Case examples of expected problems concerning the full liberalization of entry into the gas retail market

As businesses are expected to conduct full-scale business activities in preparation for the full liberalization of entry into the gas retail market, the EGC will introduce case examples of expected problems to consumers and give them advice about how to address these problems.

For further details, see the Japanese language news release.

Release date

December 15, 2016

Division in Charge

Information on Item 1:
Policy Planning Division, Executive bureau, Electricity and Gas Market Surveillance Commission
Information on Item 2:
Market Surveillance Division, Executive bureau, Electricity and Gas Market Surveillance Commission
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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