How to Switch Electricity Supplier in Japan?

How to switch your electricity supplier in Japan

Are you interested in switching electricity suppliers? Well, since the full liberalization of the Japanese electricity markets in April 2016, customers can freely choose their energy providers. Indeed, now that the market is open to competition, multiple suppliers offer different plans. Switching suppliers can help you save money and enable you to find the offer that best suits your needs and values. Here's all the information you need to know when you change your electricity retailer in Japan!

The Market Liberalization

10 historical companies used to have regional monopolies in Japan.

Before the electricity market liberalization in Japan, the 10 historical electricity utilities in Japan were exercising regional monopolies over their respective areas. These utilities are as follow:

There are. They are: , , Chubu electricity company (Chuden, Chubudenryoku,), Tohoku electricity company (Tohokuden, Tohoku denryoku), Kyushu electricity company (Kyuden, Kyushu denryoku), Chugoku electricity company (Chugokuden, Chugoku denryoku), Shikoku electricity company (Yonden, Shikoku denryoku), Hokkaido electricity company (HEPCO, Hokuden, Hokkaido denryoku), Hokuriku electricity company (Hokuden, Hokuriku denryoku), Okinawa electricity company (Okinawa denryoku) and they had regional monopolies. However, all householders and professional can select or switch electricity offers beside those historical electricity companies.

  1. TEPCO (Tokyo Electricity Company)
  2. KEPCO (Kansai Electiricty Company)
  3. CEPCO (Chugoku Electric Power Company)
  4. CHUDEN (Chubu Electric Power)
  5. HOKUDEN (Hokuriku Electric Power Company)
  6. OKIDEN (Okinawa Electric Power Company)
  7. YONDEN (Shikoku Electric Power Company)

Alternative electricity companies are referred to as "Shin-denryoku" (新電力) which means "new power" in Japanese. Most of them provide more attractive electricity offers than the historical electricity companies. It is really worth considering switching your electricity supplier if you want to save money on your bills.

How to switch electricity supplier? How much does it cost?

The good piece of news is that switching electricity provider in Japan is FREE.

Once you have compared electricity suppliers, let's switch! With most providers, you can subscribe via the internet, or by calling them over the phone. Subscribing to a new contract will never cost you any fees.

If you are non-native Japanese speaker, the easiest way to switch your electricity company is making a new contract through the company's web site using Google Translate Chrome's extension. Unfortuatelly, it is not easy to find phone operators who speaks in English, even in the big companies.

English Speaking Electricity Subscription Service To start your electricity contract or switch electricity provider with our english speaking agents! fill in our call back form below and get called back for free.
Free call, from Monday to Friday (10 am to 4:30 pm)

Information required to make a new contract

If you decide to call a new company by yourself or to subscribe online, you need to prepare some information about your current electricity contract beforehand.

Indeed, to switch electricity suppliers in Japan,  you will need to provide some personal information. You can find some of this information on your monthly bill (as indicated below).

Payment Method It is also necessary to choose the payment method; almost all electricity companies accept credit card payment but some do not accept automatic bank account transfer, while this is the most popular option amongst historical suppliers.

The information you need are the following:

  • Name of your current electricity provider (bottom left red rectangle)
  • Customer number at your current electricity company (bottom right red rectangle)
  • Your address
  • Desired date of switching electricity retailer
  • The 22 digits electricity supply point identification number (top red rectangle)
Example of a TECPO Bill
Identification Number, Compagny Name and Customer Number on a Sample Bill

How to cancel your current electricity contract?

No need to contact your current electricity company when you switch the electricity offer; the new provider is in charge of cancelling your former contract on your behalf.

To summarize, the only procedure you have to do toswitch electricity suppliers, is contacting your new supplier. Easier than you thought right?

However, if you are moving to a new location and you want to use this opportunity to change your electricity provider, the procedure is different. Indeed, in this case, you must not forget to cancel your existing electricity contract, otherwise you might continue to be charged for electricity at your old home!

You can request the electricity company to cancel the subscription by phone or via the internet in some cases. You can refer to "How to cancel TEPCO contract?" for more information. If your current provider is TEPCO, do not hesitate to check out our guide to TEPCO telephone numbers if you need more information to contact TEPCO.