Electricity and Gas
Find out how to get connected to electricity and gas suppliers in China...
Each city has its own supplier or suppliers of electricity, and the landlord of the property should be able to inform the tenant of the name and contact details of the supplier for that property. In some cases the electricity bills are covered as part of the rent, in which case the account is likely to remain in the landlord's name. If the account is to be held in the tenant's name, then the local office of the provider should be contacted with the new details. This may have to be done in conjunction with the landlord to help overcome any language barriers. A deposit is normally required in these circumstances. If a new account has to be opened, rather than simply transferring an account into the new tenant's name, an application and a visit to the office are usually required. Connection times can vary from same-day to several days.
- Beijing International has information on getting connected to utilities in Beijing
Bills that come in the form of a monthly statement can be paid in cash or with a debit card at the local utility office or a bank, post office or participating convenience store, or at an office of the provider (contact details are normally printed on the back of the bill). The bill and account number are needed. Some locations have ATM-type machines where bills can be scanned and paid with a debit card. Bills not paid by the due date must be paid at the electricity provider’s branch office. Late payment incurs a small charge on the next bill.
In some cities, such as Beijing, bills can be pre-paid via Integrated Circuit (IC) electronic cards, which can be debited by inserting directly into the meter. These are often combined with the gas account. The cards can be charged at banks or other outlets.
- Beijing International has useful information on using the IC service in Beijing
Gas supply may be either in the form of bottled gas or piped gas, depending on location. For piped gas, which is available in major cities, the bill payment procedure is similar to that for electricity. Monthly or bi-monthly bills may be sent out to the user and then paid at banks or utility offices.
Meter readings are often estimates, or self-read by the user, but official meter readers call round every few months to take a definitive reading, at which point the bill is adjusted accordingly.
Alternatively an IC card scheme may be in operation (see Electricity, above).
Bottled gas for cooking can be arranged through local delivery companies; apartment building management or residential estate managers can normally add new tenants to a list, or pass on contact details
Regional Utility Companies
- Shanghai Electricity Company Tel: 021 95 598
- Shanghai Dazhong Gas company Tel: 021 962 777
- Beijing Electric Power Corporation Tel: 010 95598
- Beijing Gas Company Tel: 010 96 777