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How to Switch Electricity Providers in Japan

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How to Switch Electricity Providers in Japan

Since the full liberalization of the retailing service in the electricity market, there has been a large influx of electricity providers in Japan. We have compiled some of the most important points one should know when thinking of switching electricity providers in our guide below;

What are electricity providers and what do they do?

Electricity providers/retailers are mainly responsible for making contracts and billing consumers for their electricity usage.

While some electricity providers are vertically integrated, meaning they also generate electricity themselves, many retailers simply focus on creating contracts and providing an intermediary service at different prices.

Switching electricity retailers means making a new contract, at a different price with a different provider for the supply of electricity.

For an overview of how electricity is generated and how it is distributed to you, read our article on the 4 Sectors of the Electricity Industry in Japan.

What can you achieve by switching electricity providers?

Lower bills

Many people make the switch to lower their electricity bills. There are many electricity providers in Japan, roughly over 400. In strife to gain a competitive edge over one another, they all engage in competitive pricing.

Why do electricity providers differ in their rates?

Some electricity providers that solely specialize in retailing electricity (providers that are not vertically integrated), can avoid having large fixed costs that are involved with power generation, transmission infrastructure, and hiring specialized labour.

This advantage can sometimes be passed on to the consumers in the form of lower electricity bills. However, since electricity retailers purchase electricity from the generators at a wholesale price and then resell it to their customers, the costs related to infrastructure development can trickle down to consumers in the form of higher bills.

Regardless, retail specialized providers can often manage price fluctuations in the market better than vertically integrated retailers. Therefore, it is always a good idea to compare the differences to identify which retailers make the most beneficial offer for you.

What remains the same after switching electricity providers?

Quality of electricity

There is a common misunderstanding that changing electricity providers might change the quality of the electricity you receive in your household. This is not true. In fact, the electricity supplied is the same as before.

You don’t have to worry about changing any infrastructure or wiring to change retailers. The same infrastructure is used because the same electricity is provided. The only thing that changes are your contract, bills, and the services your retailer offers.

What to do when switching electricity providers in Japan:

Choose an electricity providers

When it comes to switching plans and finding a new electricity provider, using our comparison tool can help to narrow your choices and show you which provider can best meet all your needs.

All you need to do is enter your monthly electricity usage (kWh), and begin comparing electricity rates. To find your monthly usage look at the amount indicated on the meter reading slip sent from your current power company.

Or you can also contact Selectra to have a consultation. Our English speaking agents can help you start your electricity contract or switch electricity providers.

The list of popular electricity providers

Alternative Electricity Utilities
Name Features

Tokyo Gas (Electricity)

Tokyo Gas  Official Site
  • Beneficial price plans (cheaper than TEPCO)
  • (Service available only in the Kanto region)

Octopus Energy

オクトパスエナジー  Official Site
  • Areas : All over Japan except Okinawa region
  • 100% Renewable energy plans available

DoCoMo Denki

ドコモでんき  Official Site
  • Earn d POINTs accumulating by payment of your electricity bill
  • Areas : All over Japan except Okinawa region

Some questions you should ask before selecting an electricity supplier.

  1. What are some benefits of this contract?
  2. Are there any cancellation fees? (Most companies don't have a cancelation fee.)
  3. Can I receive a printed bill free of charge or are they all digital bills?
  4. Who is my main point of contact for any billing-related inquiries or issues I may face?

Alternative Electricity Utilities
Name Features

Tokyo Gas (Electricity)

Tokyo Gas  Official Site
  • Beneficial price plans (cheaper than TEPCO)
  • (Service available only in the Kanto region)

Octopus Energy

オクトパスエナジー  Official Site
  • Areas : All over Japan except Okinawa region
  • 100% Renewable energy plans available

DoCoMo Denki

ドコモでんき  Official Site
  • Earn d POINTs accumulating by payment of your electricity bill
  • Areas : All over Japan except Okinawa region

Information you need to provide

Once you’ve decided which provider you wish to switch to, the rest of the process is extremely simple! You can do it online or over the phone. Just be wary of your current contract end dates because switching plans before a long-term contract is scheduled to end can result in high cancellation fees.

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

All you have to do is present the following information to the new retailer to complete the switching procedure:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Name of your current electricity provider (bottom left red rectangle)
  • The customer number you have been issued by your current retailer, (bottom right red rectangle)
  • Desired date of switching electricity retailer
  • The 22 digit electricity supply point identification number (top red rectangle)
  • Payment Method
Example of a TECPO Bill
Sample Bill, TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Company)

Payment Method It is also necessary to choose the payment method; almost all electricity companies accept credit card payment but some retailers do not accept automatic bank account transfers even though it is the most popular option amongst historical suppliers.

Final steps

  • Once you sign up for a new utility service, you don't need to worry about contacting your old electricity company. Your new provider is in charge of cancelling your former contract.
  • If your power meter is old, get yourself a smart meter.(You don't need to be present for the installation.)
  • You will be notified when your electricity contract has been switched.
  • You don't need to worry about any blackouts on the day the electricity contract changes. The transition is smooth and easy.

    Take note that if you are moving to a new location your procedure is different! You would have to cancel your existing electricity contract, otherwise, you might be billed for two locations.

    You can request the electricity company to cancel the subscription by phone or via the internet in some cases. If your current provider is TEPCO, check our guide on TEPCO telephone numbers for contact information.

    What is a Smart Meter?The smart meter is a new power meter that can monitor the amount of electricity used in remote locations. With smart meters, you no longer need to have readers to visit homes to check on their electricity usage (kWh). Another good thing about the smart meter is that it tracks your data every 30 minutes. Many of electricity providers offer apps which you can pair with your smart meter, allowing you to track or control usage remotely.