Electricity and Gas
Find out how to get connected to electricity and gas suppliers in Japan...
There are ten regulated electricity providers in Japan, each serving different regions:
- Chugoku Electric Power Company (CEPCO) - serving Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi
- Chubu Electric Power (Chuden) - serving Aichi, Mie, Gifu (some parts), Shizuoka (Shizuoka city, Hamamatsu city, etc.), Nagano
- Hokuriku Electric Power Company (HEPCO) - serving Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui (some parts), Gifu
- Hokkaido Electric Power Company (Hokuden) - serving Hokkaido
- Kyushu Electric Power (Kyuden) - serving Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Ooita, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Kagoshima
- Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) - serving Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Hyogo, Shiga, Wakayama
- Okinawa Electric Power Company (Okiden) - serving Okinawa
- The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) - serving Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Tochigi, Gunma, Ibaraki, Yamanashi, Shizuoka (Numazu city, etc.)
- Tohoku Electric Power (Tohokuden) - serving Aomori, Akita, Iwate, Yamagata, Miyagi, Fukushima, Niigata
- Shikoku Electric Power Company (Yonden) - serving Kagawa, Ehime, Tokushima, Kouchi
When moving into a rental property it is likely that the landlord or the letting agency takes care of ensuring that the elctricity is connected when the tenant moves in.
To get connected to the electricity supply contact the provider by telephone or online with the following information:
- Name, address and telephone number
- Moving date
- Customer number (this may be noted on the circuit breaker, or can be found on the Electricity Consumption Notice of the previous tenant/owner)
- For a guide to getting connected to electricity online from TEPCO: Click here
Customers who wish to organise the electricity connection from abroad should contact the provider through the house or apartment letting agency as they can check the customer number on the customer's behalf.
Connection usually takes a few days.
An electricity bill is issued every month and is based on a meter reading. Customers are notified of the amount of electricity used and the payment required. The payment has to be made within 51 days after the date of the meter-reading.
The bill can be paid in the following ways:
- Direct debit bank transfer
- By credit card
- Using the payment slip - this is part of the bill sent by the electricity company and can be used to pay at a branch of the electricity company, a bank, post office or convenience store
There is a three percent surcharge for bills paid later than 20 days after the date of the meter-reading.
Voltage and plugs
There are two separate electricity grids in Japan - one in the east and one in the west of the country. The electric frequency is 50Hz to the east of the Fujigawa River in Shizuoka prefecture and Itoigawa city in Niigata prefecture (including Tokyo, Kawasaki, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Tohoku, Sendo and Yokohama) and 60Hz to the west (including Okinawa, Kobe, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Shikoku and Kyushu).
The voltage in both regions is normally 100 volts but some homes also have (single phase) 200 volt power. This is identifiable by the three-pin outlet. Appliances brought from abroad may be used using a transformation plug and converter.
Electrical plugs have two, non-polarised pins (type A).
There are two types of gas used in homes in Japan; city gas and propane (LP) gas.
It is advisable to check that any gas appliances are compatible with the type supplied by the house or apartment before moving in.
The supply of city gas is overseen by The Japan Gas Association and is fed from underground pipes. This type of gas is cheaper than propane gas, although a fee for connecting a property to the gas pipes is charged. To get connected to the city gas supply contact the provider by phone or internet. Connection usually takes a few days.
A gas bill is issued every month and is based on a meter reading. Customers are notified of the amount of gas used and the payment required.
Payment can be made in the following ways:
- Bank or post office account transfer
- By credit card
- Using the payment slip - this is part of the bill sent by the gas company and can be used to pay at a branch of the gas company, a bank, post office or convenience store
Propane (LP) Gas
Propane gas is supplied from a tank which is set in the property by one of the many propane gas companies. The bill is calculated by a meter reading every month; the price and payment method vary depending on the company. Most properties which use propane gas have a subscribed propane company and this should be verified with the state agency or property owners.