Most apartment rentals include a contract covering main utility services in Thailand. Utilities are measured in terms of unit usage and added onto the monthly rent. Check your rental contract for particulars before you move in.
If you are renting or buying a house utilities will need to be placed in your name. This can be done by providing the utility company with a lease agreement and a proof of ownership document that should be provided by the landlord.
Most utility bills are paid directly from the tenant's bank account. Utility bills can also be paid through the post office or at some local shops like 7-11s.
There are no main gas lines in Thailand, so most residents do not use gas as a source of power.
However, LPG (Propane) is used for cooking and is provided in different sized cylinders that are available from storefronts along most main roads and along most sois. Look for shops with many gas cylinders stacked at the front. When empty, some shopkeepers will deliver a new cylinder and remove the empty one at the same time or you can return the empty cylinders to the shop and exchange it for a new one.
Some condominiums and high-rise buildings in central Bangkok may have restrictions on the use of LPG, so it is important to check with the juristic person (front office) about regulations.
Prices vary depending on size. A deposit on the first bottle is required.
Thailand has one of the largest networks of electrification in Southeast Asia and nearly all of its population has electricity.
Some older buildings in Bangkok and the rest of Thailand do not have a ground line which means there is no earth connection which can lead to more electric shocks occurring. Power cuts are also very common, not least in the middle of thunderstorms. A good supply of torches and candles is recommended!
The electrical current in Thailand is 220V, 50Hz. The typical Thai socket is the multi standard socket which either has two holes (Type A or Type C - no ground connector) or three (with a ground connector). Both types will fit round and flat pins.
Plug adaptors from both the UK and the EU should work without any problems, however care should be taken when using electrical equipment from Japan or the US which maybe too powerful for the Thai system.
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is the state-owned electricity generating company and sole electricity transmission provider and accounts for nearly half of the country's power generation. Other small Thai state power producers or manufacturers that generate less than 300 megawatts account for the remaining portion.
EGAT sells and transmits wholesale electricity to Thailand's two distribution authorities, the Metropolitan Electricity Authority and the Provincial Electricity Authority.
In Bangkok, the main provider is:
Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA)
30 Soi Chidlom
Ploenchit Road, Bangkok (just under the Chidlom BTS station)
Fax: 02 253 1424
The rest of Thailand receives their electricity from:
Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA)
200 Ngam Wong Wan Road
Fax 02 589 4850 1
Electricity metres are read every month and a printed bill is sent. This can be paid at any 7-11, Family Mart, or bank. Please note the bill will specify a date by which it needs to be paid. If you miss this date then you will only be able to pay it at the MEA in Chidlom which is open Monday-Friday 9am-3pm.
Electricity rates vary according to whether you pay the flat rate or if it is increased by your juristic person. Check these rates before agreeing to sign a lease. If using the standard rate, a monthly electricity bill for a one bed roomed studio/apartment should be about 1,500 baht. However, it is not uncommon for people to pay 15,000 baht a month for electric.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA) state that the tap water in Bangkok is safe to drink and meets the standards required by the World Health Organisation. However, drinking tap water in Thailand is not recommended for expats as it may be polluted from old pipes or at its main source. Thais also avoid drinking directly from the tap. Brushing teeth is generally still considered safe.
Bottled water is cheap and readily available from 7-11s and family marts as individual bottles starting at 7 baht for a small bottle, or packs of water can be purchased from supermarkets. Drinking water can also be purchased through government regulated 20 litre water bottles.
It is also possible to have an agreement with a water company who provide large 18.9 litre water bottles that fit onto water dispensers/fountains which are available to buy from the company itself, or at most large department stores. A deposit on the first delivery of bottles is normally required. Sprinkle Drinking Water is recommended.
Most homes in Bangkok use ground or surface water as their main supply of water supply via holding tanks or sunken wells. However, in the absence of that, water for other homes can be provided through mains water supply provided by the Local Waterworks Department.
If, for some reason, water is not connected when you move into your new home or condo, telephone or visit one of the branch offices of the MWA or the PWA. Check on the condo or house's status before moving in as it normally takes at least one week's notice for connection or disconnection.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA - Tel: 1125) is the main provider of water in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, and Samut Prakan. A list of MWA branch offices is provided on their website: www.mwa.co.th
Outside of Bangkok the Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA - Tel: 1567) is responsible for supplying mains water.
Water tariffs increase with volume used. On the whole, water bills are very cheap in Bangkok. One person living in a studio can expect to pay around 100 baht a month and a family living in a three bed roomed condo can expect to pay about 300 baht a month. A list of current residential water tariffs can be found on the MWA's website.
If you live in a condominium, bills are usually paid directly to the office (juristic person). If this is not possible, then bills can also be paid at any one of the water offices, at a payment service agent (for example at a post office, 7-11 or family mart) or by direct debit.
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