How to set up utilities
(electricity, gas
and water)



In Japan, when you move into a new house, you are required to sign a contract for Electricity, Gas and Water on your own.
If you forget to sign the contracts, you will not be able to use electricity or water after you move in.

In this article, we will explain the process and methods for foreigners to make contracts for electricity, gas and water.

Make contracts for utilities

In Japan, you cannot use Electricity, Gas and Water just by signing a contract for a house.

In order to use them, you need to sign a separate contract for each, which must be done before you move.
You will also need to cancel using them when you move to a different house or move overseas.

About the utility companies

For electricity, gas and water; the service providers vary depending on the area in which you live. The following is an example of the most well-known companies.

The companies listed in the table above are the main electric power companies that supply electricity, gas and water.

In addition, there are more than 1,000 other companies nationwide that offer electricity with their own plans, and the companies you can make a contract with will vary depending on the area you live in.

The services offered by each company are complicated, so if you are not used to living in Japan, we recommend that you tell your real estate agent when you move in that you would like to make a contract for electricity, gas and water services, and ask them to introduce you to a company.

Once you are accustomed to living in Japan, you can look into different plans.

Contract Flow

Let's take a look at the contract flow. Please note that electricity, gas and water are not available immediately after signing a contract, so you will need to proceed with the procedures as soon as possible.

Contract Flow

  1. Make a contract for an apartment
  2. Apply to the electricity, gas, and water company by phone or via the web site
  3. Tell them your address and when you will start living in the apartment.
  4. To use gas, you need to attend the opening of the gas line before you start using it.
  5. Start of use

It takes about one to two weeks for electricity, gas and water to become available after you sign a contract. Therefore, once you have decided to move, please complete the contract procedures as soon as possible.

About Electricity

You can sign up for an electricity contract online or by phone.

Most electric power companies only provide services in Japanese, so if you are not comfortable with Japanese, ask a school teacher or friend to help you with the procedure.

If you can make a contract for electricity over the phone, you do not need to be present when the electricity is turned on. After you move in, you can use the electricity by turning on the breaker by yourself.

About Gas

Most gas companies only provide Japanese-language services, so if you do not understand Japanese, ask your school teacher or friend to help you sign a contract.

Also, you need to be "present" when the gas is turned on.

If you have a friend or family member who can help you with this, you should ask them to do so as well because the company staff will explain some cautionary points.

About Water Supply

Unlike electricity and gas, the company with which you make a contract for water service is fixed.

Therefore, you will usually find an "application form to start using water service" in the entrance mailbox of your new house, which you can fill out and send in order to make a contract. (In many places it is possible to do this online as well.)

In addition, water service is usually available about 3-4 days after application, but as with electricity and gas, it is recommended to complete the contract procedure one week before moving.

 Procedure for termination of the contract

When moving to a new house or moving from Japan to another country, it is necessary to cancel the contract for electricity, gas and water.

Flow of termination of contracts

  1. To do for Cancellation of Apartment
  2. To do for Cancellation of Electricity, Gas, and Water
  3. Attendance at the apartment before leaving

First, tell the real estate agent when you will be moving out.

Then, you need to decide the date of moving out the apartment, as you need to be present to check the room for any damage.

Then, once the moving date is set, about two weeks before you move, you need to cancel your electricity, gas and water service by phone or online.

Generally, you do not need to be present when you cancel your electricity, gas, or water service, but in some cases, such as in auto-locked houses, you may need to be present because gas staff cannot enter the house to check the meter.

If you need to be present, please set a schedule for it.

Also, since many people move in March and April, there may be limited availavle schedules to move, so be sure to do so as soon as possible.


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