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Ready To Move? How To Sign And Cancel Contracts For Electricity, Gas, And Water

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When moving into a new place in Japan, you have to sign contracts for utilities. This article will go over the procedures for signing utility contracts and what things to be aware of. We will also cover how to cancel your contracts when moving out.

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Signing Utility Contracts When Moving In

Moving in procedures

When moving into a new place in Japan, you must sign utility contracts for electricity, gas, and water. Moreover, when moving out of your place, you must cancel these contracts.

This article will offer tips and advice on signing and canceling utility contracts.

Providers for Electricity, Gas, and Water

First, we will introduce how to sign a utility contract. Depending on where you decide to live, the providers for electricity, gas, and water will differ.

Companies and Departments for Electricity, Gas, and Water
Electricity Tokyo Electric Power, Kansai Electric Power, Chubu Electric Power, Tohoku Electric Power, Kyushu Electric Power, Chugoku Electric Power, Shikoku Electric Power, Hokkaido Electric Power, Hokuriku Electric Power, Okinawa Electric Power, etc.
Gas (City Gas)* Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Toho Gas, Saibu Gas, Tobu Gas, Hokkaido Gas, etc.
Water Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Waterworks, Osaka City Waterworks Bureau, Nagoya City Waterworks & Sewerage Bureau, Fukuoka City Waterworks Bureau, etc.

Electricity and gas are provided by private companies, while water is provided by local governments. Gas and water may have different providers for each city in Japan.

There's no need to worry about which company to sign contracts with. After signing a rental agreement, your real estate agent will advise you which utility company to sign a contract with. If you follow the instructions, you should encounter no problems.

*Gas is divided into city gas and propane (LP) gas. Typically for rentals, you will sign a contract for city gas. Since propane gas is delivered in containers, it is intended for individual homes.

How to Sign a Utility Contract

Moving in procedures

Let's take a look at how each utility contract is signed.

Electricity Contract

Electricity Contract
Time Period One to two weeks before your move
Where to Apply Official website, phone, or FAX
On-Site Witness Not required

When signing with an electricity provider, you should provide your full name and move-in date about one to two weeks before relocating. Unlike gas contracts, you do not need a service provider to be present when starting to use electricity at your home.

Most provider websites and phone services are in Japanese. Ask a friend for assistance if you are not confident in your Japanese language ability.

Once you've moved in, simply turn on the circuit breaker to start using electricity.

Gas Contract

Gas Contract
Time Period One to two weeks before your move
Where to Apply Official website, phone, or FAX
On-Site Witness Required

Similar with electricity, you can sign a gas contract by providing your full name, new address, and move-in date. It's important to note that you must have a service provider act as a witness when you start using gas.

After moving in, the gas provider will come to open the main gas tap and explain general precautions. We recommend scheduling this appointment early.

Water Contract

Water Contract
Time Period Three to four days before your move-in date, or after you move
Where to Apply Official website or by mail
On-Site Witness Not required

Unlike electricity and gas, you can sign a contract for water after your move. Although some waterworks bureaus have online applications, you will most likely fill out a form titled "Application for Water Supply," which is delivered to your mailbox.

Fill in the necessary information, then mail in your application.

Save Money with ENECHANGE

If you're looking for a provider that values clean energy or prefer to sign a bundled contract, take a look at ENECHANGE (Japanese). On their website, you can compare different utility providers and apply for both electricity and gas.

Make sure to check the terms and conditions for each provider. Some will charge you a penalty fee if you cancel your contract before it expires.

For more information on ENECHANGE, check out the article below.

How to Cancel a Utility Contract

Moving in procedures

When the time comes for you to move out of your place, remember to follow the procedures for canceling contracts. Electricity, gas, and water all follow the same procedures.

Canceling Contracts for Electricity, Gas, and Water
Time Period One to two weeks before your move-out date
Where to Apply Official websites or by phone
On-Site Witness Generally required

Canceling contracts for electricity, gas, and water all require a service provider to be present. Make sure to contact your utility providers at least one to two weeks before moving out.

Always Start Your Application Early

The busiest moving season in Japan is around March and April. During these months, most utility providers are busy helping customers sign and cancel contracts. If you want to move on time, apply early and schedule a date for a service provider to visit your home.

All Photos by Pixta

Written by

Previous experience as an editor at a women's media company in Japan. I lived in Australia for a while and joined MATCHA after returning to Japan. In charge of editing, promoting sponsored content, and creative direction. I love watching Western TV series.
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