Forgot to Pay Electricity Bill? Here’s How to Pay Bills Online in Japan

Forgot to Pay Electricity Bill? Here’s How to Pay Bills Online in Japan

In Japan, paying utility bills can be a hassle. But it doesn’t have to be. 

For many people, paying your bills at a convenience store may be the most straightforward method. But what if you forgot to pay your electricity bill? Or maybe you're planning a long trip and won't be home to pay your utility bills on time? What then?

Fortunately, there are other ways to pay your bills in Japan—outside of dropping by a Conbini. For example, you can transfer the money from your bank account or set up monthly automatic withdrawals for a hassle-free alternative. 

This article will explain the various methods of paying bills in Japan, how to set up bill payments online, and what to do if you have an overdue payment. 

How to pay utility bills in Japan

There are multiple ways you can pay utility bills in Japan. However, all of them require different degrees of effort.

Convenience stores

For most people living in relatively populated areas, paying bills at a convenience store is the simplest option. You take your payment voucher to a store and hand it to the cashier. They scan the barcode, and you pay the amount. After paying, you receive a receipt as proof of payment. 

One caveat to remember when using this method is that you must pay in cash. So if you're someone who doesn't keep cash on hand or if you have multiple bills you need to pay, this may not be the best option for you. 

Cash apps

Most invoices come with a QR code or barcode that you can scan and pay through accepted cash apps linked to a credit card. These cash apps include the following:

  • Line Pay 

  • PayB

  • PayPay

  • Rakuten Bank

  • FamiPay

However, this option may not be available depending on where you live. 

Bank transfer

This method allows you to settle your bills directly from your bank account. You can either go to your bank and transfer the money from an ATM or through online banking. 

Credit card

You must first apply via mail or website if you want to pay your bills with your credit card. After sending in your application form, you will receive a notice from the company to inform you that your application went through.

Image. Sample of electricity bill from Fukuoka City International Foundation.

Image. Sample of electricity bill from Fukuoka City International Foundation.

Can I pay my electricity bill online in Japan?

Perhaps you’d rather not trot out to the conbini to pay your utility bills? If that sounds like you, you can have your utility bills automatically charged to your credit card or withdrawn from your bank account. This approach will ensure you never miss a payment. It's also convenient for people who travel frequently or have busy schedules. 

To set up automatic withdrawals, you must fill out an application form from the utility company you are signed up with. Depending on your electricity provider, you may be able to apply online through the company's official website.

Below is a list of Japan's top 10 electricity companies and whether or not they permit online applications for automatic bill payments. 

TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power)

Credit card payment: can apply online 

Bank withdrawal payment: mail applications only

CHUDEN (Chubu Electric Power)

Credit card payment: can apply online

Bank withdrawal: mail applications only

HEPCO (Hokkaido Electric Power)

Credit card payment: can apply online

Bank withdrawal: mail applications only

Tohoku Electric Power

Credit card payment: can apply online 

Bank withdrawal: mail applications only

RIKUDEN (Hokuriku Electric Power)

Credit card payment: can apply online

Bank withdrawal: mail applications only

KEPCO (Kansai Electric Power)

Credit card payment: can apply online

Bank withdrawal: can apply online

Chugoku Electric Power

Credit card payment: can apply online for customers with membership or through the mail 

Bank withdrawal: application form available online for certain banks

YONDEN (Shikoku Electric Power)

Credit card payment: can apply online

Bank withdrawal: application form available online for certain banks

KYUDEN (Kyushu Electric Power)

Credit card payment: can apply online

Bank withdrawal: application form available online for certain banks

Okinawa Electric Power

Credit card payment: can apply online

Bank withdrawal: application form available online

What to do if you've forgotten to pay an electricity bill

Fortunately, if you forget to pay an electricity bill in Japan, you won't lose electricity immediately. Often, you will receive a few new invoices and a reminder to pay by a specified date. However, failing to pay your electricity bill after two months will result in the utility company cutting off your power supply.  

The easiest way to deal with an overdue payment is to take your new invoice and pay it by the appointed date. But suppose you can't make your payment because you lost your invoice? In that case, you should call your electricity supplier's customer service hotline, and they will reissue a new payment voucher for you. 

 Always remember to check the back of the invoice for accepted payment methods. Some convenience stores won't process bills past their due date, so you may have to go to the utility company to settle the amount.

What to do if you lose electricity

Contact customer service immediately if you lose power after not paying your electricity bill. They will walk you through how to settle your late fees and restart your power supply. However, you may not receive power immediately after paying your bill. How long it takes depends on the power company and the situation.

 The best way to prevent losing your power is to make sure you pay your bills on time. If you frequently forget to pay utility bills, consider switching payment methods to automatic withdrawal. 

 How much are late payment penalties?

Late payment on an electric bill can incur an interest rate of 0.03% per day (10% annually). 

 For example, if your monthly bill is ¥5000, and you pay it 30 days after the due date, the company will charge a late fee of ¥45. 

Although this is a small fee, you can ultimately lose your electricity if you continue to ignore paying your bill. 

How to pay utility bills online with MailMate

Going home for the holidays? But want your bills paid on your behalf while you’re gone? Consider MailMate!

MailMate is a virtual mailbox service that can take care of processing utility payments on your behalf. 

Here’s how it works: 

  1. Sign up for a MailMate account.

  2. Use Japan Post’s mail forwarding service to get your mail redirected to MailMate headquarters.

  3. Go travel and enjoy yourself. 

  4. We notify you when we receive a utility bill (or any mail!). 

  5. You click on the “Pay Bill” button. And we go to the convenience store and pay it on your behalf!

Schedule a demo here!

Frequently asked questions

How do I pay a TEPCO electricity bill? 

TEPCO is Tokyo's largest electricity supplier. Payment methods for Tepco include:

  • Credit card payment 

  • Automatic payment via bank account

  • Paying at a convenience store

  • Payment through accepted cash apps such as Line Pay, PayB, PayPay, Rakuten Bank, au Pay, FamiPay

  • SMS payment 

scanning utility bill

Image from Line

You can also quickly contact customer service through their AI-powered chatbot on their Japanese website. It can assist you with issues like handling overdue payments, checking your contract information, and switching payment methods quickly and efficiently.  

Can I pay my water bill online in Japan? 

You can select automatic bill payment using your credit card or bank account if you fill out an application form in advance. Depending on your prefecture, online applications may be available. For example, if you live in Tokyo, making an account with 東京水道マイネット will allow you to submit your application form through their website for automatic payments. 

In closing

While there are plenty of ways to pay your bills in Japan, the key is to use the most convenient method that allows you to pay them on time. 

Convenience store payments may be a simple option for most people. However, if you don’t want to forget to pay your electricity bill, it might be best to consider MailMate’s virtual mail services, which are great for individuals who travel frequently or have busy schedules.  


About MailMate!

MailMate is the ultimate virtual mailbox for Japan. We receive your mail, scan it, translate it, and store it. Then, you can read it from anywhere at any time.

Get a virtual office address and all your mail handled (we’ll even pay your bills if you want) risk-free for 30 days with our 30-day moneyback guarantee.

Book a Consultation

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