Currently, all of the utility companies in Thailand are state run.
Electricity in Thailand
The maximum voltage of electrical appliances in Thailand is 220 volts. Two prong power outlets/plugs are used (which means that plugs are not earthed!). Along with the human safety risks that this can cause, sensitive computers and electronic devices might fail to operate properly.
Thailand has to import electricity from its neighbouring countries. This drives up domestic utility costs. You should also be aware that many houses in Thailand are not insulated and if you are using air conditioning, your electricity bills will be even higher than they would be in an insulated home.
To connect or disconnect electricity in your home, contact the local government office that is responsible for electricity. You need to give at least one week's notice.
Gas in Thailand
Homes in Thailand have no direct gas supply. Propane gas is used mainly for cooking and is available in different sized cylindrical bottles. Prices vary, depending on the size of the bottle.
To buy gas, look in shops with many gas cylinders stacked outside. You will have to pay a deposit for the first bottle. When you need a replacement, your shopkeeper can deliver a new bottle and remove the empty one.
Note that some apartment blocks and high-rise buildings in the cities may have restrictions on the use of propane. Check this with the building administrator beforehand.
Water in Thailand
Do not drink tap water in Thailand! Large containers of bottled water can be delivered to your house by water vendors during regular working hours. You can also buy a water dispenser and there are water companies that provide large bottles that fit onto these.
Many houses in Thailand use ground water via holding tanks or sunken wells for their main water supply. The majority of the houses are supplied water through a mains water supply which is provided by the Local Waterworks Department.
Be aware that the sewage system in Thailand is not piped out to a central canalisation, but instead houses and condos use septic tanks. This means when your drain gets clogged you should avoid using chemicals. Nearly all houses and condos in Thailand have a septic tank under the house, and the sewage decomposition is dependent upon the natural bacteria in the tank. The chemicals used to dissolve clogs in the sink will kill that bacteria, and you will be left with a serious problem.
To connect to a water supply, contact one of the branch offices of the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority of Thailand or the Provincial Waterworks Authority. You should give one week’s notice when connecting or disconnecting your water supply.
Paying bills in Thailand
A typical family in a two bedroomed apartment may pay up to 3,000 Baht per month for utility and phone bills.
Paying bills in Thailand is probably very different from the procedure in your home country. If you live in a condominium, you can pay at the front desk of your building (but you will be charged more than the amount the utility company has charged).
If you live in a house, you can pay utility bills at your bank or the post office during the normal working hours. However, the most common way to pay bills is at 7-11 stores.
7-11 stores are the most popular convenience stores in Thailand. They are on every street corner and are open 24 hours a day. The service fee for paying bills is 10 Baht. However, not all 7-11 stores offer this service, so look for a water-tap or telephone sign on the door. This means that the service for paying bills is provided. When paying at 7-11 stores you should get your bills back with receipts stapled to them.
To pay at 7-11 stores, you must pay before the expiry date stated on the bill. If you miss the expiration date, the bill cannot be processed. You then have to look for an office of the specific utilities provider, which is not easy to find.