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City gas in Japan; how to open your gas meter and start your contract in Japan as a foreigner?

How to start using gas in Japan
How to start using gas in Japan

Setting your gas services along with electricity, internet, and water is one of the first things you have to do when moving to a new place, and Japan is no exception. For a non-Japanese speaker it might be a difficult process, but no need to worry; this article will guide you through the whole process.

Gas in Japan; meters and providers

Before one starts the sign-up process, it is important to understand what types of gasses are offered and their characteristics.

Get a better deal!

hinatao energy
Get your electricity and gas in the Kanto area with the only service with full English support, and enjoy better prices than TEPCO's.
Apply now
(official site)
Get a better deal!
hinatao energy
Get your electricity and gas in the Kanto area with the only service with full English support, and enjoy better prices than TEPCO's. Apply now
(official site)

Gas in Japan: City gas and Propane

In Japan, individual customers can use two types of gasses: propane gas, also called LP gas and city gas. Their uses are similar (heating, kitchen, bath and so on) and most people in cities and urban areas have the networks available to use city gas in their homes.

City gas is a type of gas composed mainly of methane and supplied through underground pipes in Japan with branches connecting directly to your home. Since the infrastructure and network are expensive to build and maintain, city gas is available only in major cities.

Propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is another type of gas produced through processing natural gas by applying pressure until it becomes liquid. From this point on, the gas is portable and can be contained inside gas tanks. The liquid becomes gas at the time it is released from the tank with a valve. LPG is an affordable and convenient option to remote and not so populated areas with no city gas network.

Get a better deal!

hinatao energy
Get your electricity and gas in the Kanto area with the only service with full English support, and enjoy better prices than TEPCO's.
Apply now
(official site)
Get a better deal!
hinatao energy
Get your electricity and gas in the Kanto area with the only service with full English support, and enjoy better prices than TEPCO's. Apply now
(official site)

Appointment to start a gas meter

When moving to a new housing, there are good chances a gas contract is required. There are a few exceptions being “all-denka” houses (housings that provide all heating from electricity). Contrary to electricity and water, gas requires the intervention of an agent of the gas network company and the customer has to be present at the time one starts using gas services.

In the case of non-“all electric”-housing, it is necessary to make an appointment, in advance, with the regional gas company to check the gas installations and meter before starting to use gas in your new home. This is mainly for safety measures, and while the check is done by an agent of the historical retailer (for example Tokyo Gas in Kanto area) individuals can choose their provider freely; the chosen company will arrange the visit of a gas company employee so that gas can start being used.

Traditional gas providers and foreigner friendly retailer

10 Historical gas providers

Many gas providers in Japan offer gas services to a specific region, exactly like historical electricity providers (divided into 10 regions). but some gas providers don’t have the same geographic reach as electricity providers, causing the consumers to look for a more specific regional gas provider. Since 2017, the gas market has been liberalized in Japan for individuals and one is free to choose which company to sign-up for gas.

The following table shows the historical gas providers that can be used as a reference.

Historical gas providers
Company name Area covered Website
Tokyo Gas Kanto area Website
Osaka Gas Kansai area Website
Toho Gas Chubu area (Aichi, Gifu, Mie) Website
Kita Gas Hokkaido Website
Saibu Gas Kyushu (Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Nagasaki) Website
Nihonkai Gas Hokuriku (Toyama, Ishikawa) Website
Tobu Gas Tohoku (Akita, Fukushima) Website
Fukuyama Gas Chugoku (Hiroshima, Okayama) Website
Shikoku Gas Shikoku (Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, Kochi) Website
Okinawa Gas Okinawa Website

Get a better deal!

hinatao energy
Get your electricity and gas in the Kanto area with the only service with full English support, and enjoy better prices than TEPCO's.
Apply now
(official site)
Get a better deal!
hinatao energy
Get your electricity and gas in the Kanto area with the only service with full English support, and enjoy better prices than TEPCO's. Apply now
(official site)

Foreigners friendly alternative providers

Although a lot of Japanese energy providers are still reluctant to accept inquiries from foreigners who do not speak Japanese, luckily there are a few providers who do provide the service and offer price plans cheaper than historical ones introduced above.

“Hinatao Energy” is a one of them; a fairly new company that supplies electricity and gas services for non-japanese people living in Tokyo and its surroundings.. “Hinatao Energy” makes it easier for non-Japanese residents in Japan to sign up for electricity and gas in English. The service offered is very similar to any regional gas company and has the following additional benefits:

  • Full-English support
  • No cancellation fees
  • No minimum contract period
  • No sign-up fees

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  • Free - Our services are free to customers!
  • All in English - No more language barrier!

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  • Free - Our services are free to customers!
  • All in English - No more language barrier!


About us


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Another company accepting applications from foreigners in the Kanto region is CD energy, an energy provider founded by Osaka gas and Chubu Denryoku. Utilizing one of the aforementioned providers enables foreigners to sign up for both electricity and gas with the same company while saving on their bills.

Prices and procedures to sign up

Price plans: a comparison for Tokyo between Tokyo gas, CD gas and Hinatao Energy

Below is a comparison of some Tokyo area based companies: Hinatao Energy, Tokyo Gas, CD Energy:

Basic Charge
(JPY Per Contract)
Gas Usage
(Per Month)
Hinatao energy Tokyogas CD energy
Up to 20m³ 759.00 759.00 735.46
From 20m³ to 80m³ 1056.00 1056.00 1022.38
From 80m³ to 200m³ 1232.00 1232.00 1193.39
From 200m³ to 500m³ 1892.00 1892.00 1833.02
From 500m³ to 800m³ 6292.00 6292.00 6100.61
From 800m³ 12452.00 12452.00 12065.05
Unit Charge
(JPY per m³, Standard Unit Charge)
Gas Usage
(Per Month)
Hinatao energy Tokyogas CD energy
Up to 20m³ 145.31 145.31 140.76
From 20m³ to 80m³ 130.46 130.46 126.42
From 80m³ to 200m³ 128.26 128.26 124.28
From 200m³ to 500m³ 124.96 124.96 121.08
From 500m³ to 800m³ 116.16 116.16 112.54
From 800m³ 108.46 108.46 105.09

電話で電気・ガス切替相談

Our English-speaking advisers will help you compare, subscribe and save on your energy

 

  • Free - Our services are free to customers!
  • All in English - No more language barrier!

About us

Our English-speaking advisers will help you compare, subscribe and save on your energy

  • Free - Our services are free to customers!
  • All in English - No more language barrier!


About us


Selectra Japan Ads

電話で電気・ガス切替相談

Our English-speaking advisers will help you compare, subscribe and save on your energy


Just leave your telephone number, we will call you!
Free callback service

Our English-speaking advisers will help you compare, subscribe and save on your energy


Just leave your telephone number, we will call you!
Free callback service

How to sign up to your gas contract?

When moving in, it is necessary to contact the regional city gas company or LP gas in order to start using gas in the new home.

The sign-up can be done using the company’s website or by phone. It is important for the customer to note when they want to start using gas because the customer must be present at the time of installation.

In addition, it is necessary to make sure that the gas is working properly by doing an ignition test, for which one must prepare gas devices such as a fan heater, a gas stove, or any other gas devices one might want to use.

  • Sign-up with a gas company when the moving day has been decided (internet or phone)
  • Contact the gas company one day prior to the appointed day for the setup visit by a company representative.
  • Have some gas devices ready for the ignition test beforehand.

Regarding gas devices differences

  1. Gas devices for city gas and those for LP gas are not compatible.
  2. For those who had been using LP gas (propane gas) until now and changed to city gas, it is necessary to replace one’s devices due to the lack of compatibility between these types of gasses. The reason for this is because the gas devices require a different amount of heat for city gas and LP gas.

When all these steps have been followed, one just needs to have the gas setup to start using the gas services.

Gas cannot be used unless the procedures for gas usage, including safety check, are done. That can be said both for city gas and LP gas (propane gas). It can be tough not having gas in winter, so make sure to sign-up before moving in.

電話で電気・ガス切替相談

Our English-speaking advisers will help you compare, subscribe and save on your energy

 

  • Free - Our services are free to customers!
  • All in English - No more language barrier!

About us

Our English-speaking advisers will help you compare, subscribe and save on your energy

  • Free - Our services are free to customers!
  • All in English - No more language barrier!


About us


Selectra Japan Ads

電話で電気・ガス切替相談

Our English-speaking advisers will help you compare, subscribe and save on your energy


Just leave your telephone number, we will call you!
Free callback service

Our English-speaking advisers will help you compare, subscribe and save on your energy


Just leave your telephone number, we will call you!
Free callback service

 

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