A case of Ikoma City where active seniors take the lead


The city of Ikoma is currently on a quest to revitalize the local community and address the low birthrate as well as issues that arise with the aging population using the local electricity retailer "Ikoma Citizen Power Co., Ltd" as a spring board.  The electricity retailer is the first in Japan to be established under a joint investment scheme with the participation of citizen groups, the city government, local businesses, economic organizations, for the purpose of procuring locally generated energy.  We are engaged in this effort because of our belief that collaboration between citizen groups and businesses is essential to counter the social challenges we are facing as our population decreases.

Under the IUC programme the city of Ikoma shall offer examples of how we use participatory planning in developing policies for: promoting renewable energy; caring for our senior citizens; and supporting our youths.

Summary of our case study

The electricity retailer “Ikoma Citizen Power Co., Ltd.” was established after the recent deregulation of the electricity market under the first joint investment scheme in Japan to be participated by the city, local business operators, economic organizations, and the civil society.  The project aims to scale the use of renewable energy and revitalize the region by reinvesting the revenue on measures to counter the challenges facing the regional economy.

One member of the electricity retailer is a citizen group named, "Citizen Energy Ikoma".  This citizen group has actively engaged in raising awareness and promoting the use of renewable energy in Ikoma while also making sure their revenues are reinvested to promote local growth.  It is a financially independent entity operated by senior citizens who have retired from the workforce and whose contributions are on a volunteer basis.  They are highly commended for their activities receiving numerous awards. For example, in 2008 they received two: the Minister of the Environment Good Life Award for Excellence in the Environment; and the New Energy Foundation Chairman's Award which is a category of the New Energy Grand Prize.  They were recognized for not only securing a career for senior citizens after their retirement from the workforce but also for doing it in a way that contributes to the local community.  It was appreciated as a good case study for a rapidly aging city.

Challenges and solutions

Local power generation plant No.4 developed through the joint investment.

"Ikoma Citizen Power Co., Ltd" was established with the engagement of a diverse set of stakeholders as a means to solve various social issues such as the low birthrate, and the aging and declining population.  It could serve as a good model on how to pursue a local unified goal with the collaboration and cooperation of a variety of stakeholders.  In order to achieve the policy goal of local energy production and local revitalization, it is necessary to ensure continuity and stability as a company.  Operations can only continue with sound economic judgement.  To gain approval and recognition from citizens and business operators of the operations, it will be necessary to devise a plan on how to reinvest profit and share the plan with the community early on, while simultaneously collecting and reflecting views from the local community when doing so.  We recognize we need to start discussions by holding workshops with the local communities at an early stage.

Power generated (predicted)

  • Total 31GWh and 67 buildings
  • Solar panels will be placed at the city government office, 59 elementary and junior high schools, Nanto Bank and 8 other private sector buildings

Begin servicing power

  • From 2009 to general households


  • Ikoma City (7.65 million yen, 51%)
  • Osaka Gas (5.1 million yen 34%)
  • Ikoma Chamber of Commerce (0.9 million, 6%)
  • Nanto Bank (0.75 million yen, 5%)
  • Citizen Energy Ikoma (0.6 million yen, 4%)

Possible way forward

Our country’s social issues such as the low birthrate, and the aging and declining population cannot be addressed single handedly by one municipal government. It is critical to have multiple stakeholders collaborate in solving this difficult challenge we are facing.
"Ikoma Citizen Power Co., Ltd." aims to become an indispensable company for the region that provides not only electricity but also other fundamental services to enhance the quality of life of our citizens.  Our goal is to develop a business model with the cooperation of multiple stakeholders.


Mrs. Natsuko Okubo
Deputy Director, Environmental Model City Promotion Division, Ikoma City
E-mail |eco-model@city.ikoma.lg.jp
TEL | +81- 743-74-1111