Electricity and Home Appliances in Thailand

Information on the domestic power available in Thailand, wall socket plugs and voltage of kitchen and living room appliances...

Electricity in Thailand is produced mostly by a state owned, but partially privatised, monopoly, EGAT (Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand). Production methods include hydro electric, gas turbine, oil fired, and coal fired (lignite) power stations. Thailand does not have a nuclear power industry.

Power Distribution

EGAT sells the energy output from its own generation facilities, and from smaller private power sources, to two state-owned distributing authorities. These then deliver electricity to domestic and industrial users across the country: in Bangkok the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) is the distributor, while the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) sells electricity in the rest of Thailand.

In Bangkok the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) is the distributor.

The Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) supplies electricity in the rest of Thailand.

To get connected

To connect or disconnect power to a home, contact the region's local government office responsible for electricity. At least one week's notice is required. Proof of identity is required together with residency information such as a visa or tenancy contract.

Billing

The government department will read the meter every month and provide a small printed bill which is usually placed in the mail box or under the front door.

Bills can be paid at convenience stores, post offices, banks or by direct debit, but must be paid by the end of each month. Bills paid after this date must be taken to the local electricity office.

Power Voltage and Frequency

Domestic power in Thailand is 220 volts AC at 50 hertz (220V/50Hz).

All electrical and electronic equipment designed for use in the UK or EU should work in Thailand, although it may be necessary to change the plug, or use a travel adapter.

Note: Electrical and electronic equipment from the US or Japan may not work in Thailand. Plugging in some US or Japanese appliances such as hairdryers or electric razors to a Thai electrical outlet, may be a fire risk and could also permanently damage the appliance.

Some appliances, including almost all laptop computers and many desktop computers, have a switch near the power inlet labelled "110/120-220/240". Setting this switch to "220/240" will enable the device to operate as normal in Thailand.

Converters converting 220 volts to 110 volts are sold at some airports and electrical stores.

Power Outages

Thunderstorms can cause local power outages that may last anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours. UPS systems with built-in surge protectors are widely used to protect desktop computers, and many large buildings have back-up generators.

Plugs and Sockets

The standard Thai power outlet is the multi standard socket, which has either two holes, Type A or Type C (no ground connector): or three (with a ground connector). Both types can accommodate both round and flat pins.

  • Wikipedia has a picture of the three-pin multi standard outlet

European and American standard two-pin plugs and UK two-pin "shaver" style plugs should fit in all these outlets. Older buildings may have outlets which can only accommodate two-pin plugs with flat pins. UK and EU standard three-pin plugs will NOT fit in standard Thai power outlets, however, inexpensive travel adapters are available at all airports and electrical stores.

Warning about safety and the lack of Ground or Earth sockets

Most older buildings, and many newer ones, in Thailand do NOT have a ground line. This means that there is no earth connection, whether there are two or three pins in the power outlets. This increases the risk of serious electric shocks, particularly from appliances which use both electricity and water, such as showers, washing machines, dishwashers, and electric rice cookers.

Keep water away from electrical equipment, particularly exposed wires, plugs, sockets, and switches. Do not stand on a wet surface when using electrical equipment.

  • Visit ThailandGuru for a fuller explanation of domestic electrical systems