Electricity and Gas

Find out how to get connected to electricity and gas suppliers in India...

Electricity

Electricity is not privatised and is supplied by the relevant state electricity board. To subscribe for an electricity connection, visit the nearest electricity office. The electricity connection will be in the name of the owner of the property, with a separate meter for each dwelling or household. An employee will visit the property to read the meter on a monthly basis. The landlord may charge a monthly lump sum to cover the cost of electricity or provide a monthly bill from the electricity board, which corresponds to the relevant meter. The electricity bill is sent out at the end of every month and can be paid at allotted area offices.

  • For a list of electricity providers in India: Click here

Power cuts can be frequent, especially in summer and in smaller cities and rural areas. Cities such as Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi also experience frequent power cuts during the summer. Referred to as “load-shedding”, electricity may be cut daily during specific times. Cuts may also occur several times a day, at irregular times and without notice. Many offices, buildings and residences have power back-ups in the form of diesel-run generators or a battery-run uninterruptible power supply.

In India, the electricity supply ranges between 220 and 240 volts. Any electrical appliance that is in this range or has multiple voltage is compatible. In general, plugs from the UK and USA are not compatible with Indian power sockets, which take two- or three-pronged plugs. Travel adapters are available to overcome this problem. European appliances with a two-pronged plug are compatible, as the voltage is the same. A transformer will be required in order to use appliances from the USA. Plug adapters and transformers are readily available in India. When bringing appliances from overseas, it may be necessary to also use a voltage converter.

Power surges, when the electricity supply can suddenly increase or fluctuate, are common in India. For this reason, it is advisable to use stabilisers (surge protectors) for each household appliance.

Gas

In India, most houses do not have electric stoves and gas is not piped. Cooking stoves use liquid petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders. The national gas companies include:

Gas cylinders are limited to two per household. A deposit is usually required for each one. Once a cylinder is empty, the spare one is used. The gas company will then deliver a replacement. Since there is high demand for gas cylinders, it may take some time to get a “connection” (the term used by suppliers for providing bottled gas, rather than a piped gas connection).

  • For more information on eligibility, as well as the procedure and documents required for a gas connection: Click here

The following documents are required to receive gas cylinders:

  • Proof of address – electricity or telephone bill
  • Proof of identity – passport, driving licence or PAN card

In some states, including Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, a ration card is also required. For this reason, it can be a challenge for foreigners or anyone who has moved from one city to another to secure a connection through a national gas company. There are private gas companies, but their prices are usually higher than the subsidised cylinders offered by national gas companies. However, a private connection can be set up quickly and no documents are required. A deposit will be required for the cylinder, which will be refunded when cancelling the connection. Payment is made on delivery.

A pressure regulator for the cylinder also needs to be bought. They cost between Rs100 and Rs150. The cost of LPG gas varies from state to state and fluctuates according to the price of fuel.

The major private gas companies include:

When moving to another city, it makes sense to transfer the gas connection.

Emergencies

As there are no national suppliers of utilities, the relevant state electricity or water board, or gas provider, should be contacted.