The Rice Field Project Part 6 : Getting electricity

As part of Living in Thailand, the Rice Field Project follows our journey of buying land and preparing it for building our house. This is part 6. To read the other parts click on the tag Rice Field.

While we are parallel working on the step of having a small bungalow build we were also busy with getting electricity. That sounds an easy task ... but our land is 90m from the last point of electricity. So getting electricity connections involves a few steps.

First we will have to apply & getting an electric cable to our land. With 90m distance this will require 2 electric poles and cable of course. Once we have electric cable to our land we can apply for temporarily electricity connection for what you do not need a house book / house number). Once we have an house number we can apply for permanent electricity connection.
    So we played stupid and just went to the local electricity company (PEA) and asked how to get an electric cable to our land. Unfortunetely the first time we were served by a bit unfriendly older man who told us "If the local government (village) agrees that electric is needed then the government will put poles for the 90m to our land. Otherwise we have to pay ourselves. And that costs 50.000 Thai baht per pole + the electric cable." As we need 2 poles that would be at least about 100.000 Thai baht.
    No way! Much too expensive. So we started to ask around. A private company would do it for 4.000 Thai baht per pole (incl. installation) + 20 Thai baht per meter cable + some installation material. That would make it about 20.000 Thai baht. But officially that is not allowed to be done on public land. I say officially because you can see that people are actually doing it. Worse .... private companies are offering it to us. But now I understand .... this are all temporarily connections where the meter is at the nearest electricity pole. And you just run your own temporarily electric line. And you can use this for many years. So people not care about ever getting the permanent electricity connection. But this would not be a option for us.

    So we asked a befriended guy who works at the PEA office at another place. He had his people check how much it would cost to have installed 2 electricity poles with single-fase. That would be 40.000 Thai baht. And 10.000 Thai baht extra for triple-fase. He told us also just apply and ask them to check the price first. This is done for free. So let's see, the first quote by PEA was at least 100.000 Thai baht, the private quote was about 20.000 Thai baht and the unofficial PEA quote was 40.000 Thai baht.

    So what we did?

    We went to the local PEA and applied for an installation of electric cable to our land and asked them to check the price first. This time there were 2 friendly young boys helping us, within 1 week the location & price would be checked. After that it would take maximum 1 month to have electricity connection. Really? So easy?
    • Friday 3 November  : Application for poles & electric cable has been done
    • Tuesday 7 November : We were called that check of costs has been done. Single phase will cost about 24.510 Thai baht, Triple Phase will cost about 54.192 Thai baht. Prices are excluded of the connection costs / meter (now thinking about ..... in hindsight I am wondering if our friend who is working at the PEA made a few telephone calls to his co-workers at the PEA where we were going to smooth our application).
    • Wednesday 8 November : We went to the PEA where a friendly and professional man explained everything and we agreed to have Single Phase with a 15A meter. This application will be put in the PEA computer system and within 5 days he will call us back so we can come pay. 
    • Friday 10 November : Yesterday we were called that we can come to pay, so we did that today. Installation of the poles and electric cable will be done within 15 days. Once that is done we can apply for temporarily connection. We were given an card with telephone number of the department who will do the actually installation of the poles & electric cable, so we can check with them when it is done. Now this payment is actually a donation to the society of Thailand as the 2 poles and cable will become public property. 
    • Thursday 16 November : The 2 poles are installed, yet still without electric cable. Amazingly they came with 3 people and a small truck with crane. The digging for the poles was done by hand. Took them about 3 hours. A bit disappointed that it were second-hand poles!
    • Friday 17 November : The 90m cable is installed
    • Friday 17 November : Application for temporarily connection (15A meter) is done. Costs 4.800 Thai baht, of what 4.000 Thai baht is a deposit. A 30A meter would cost about the double.
    • Saturday 18 November : We have an electric meter!
    Since we have now electricity the next step is having an outdoor enclosure installed with main switches and prepared to make underground cables to our to be build house. This has already been checked and ordered at a local electric installation shop. Surprisingly this "little shop" has more & better selection of things as Global House.

    So now we can have at least some garden light and an waterpump for an yet to be being build water well. Mind you we have now an temporarily connection. Once we have a real house and an house-book & house-number we can apply for an permanent connection. For the temporarily connection there is no check about the electric system being used. But for the permanent connection the electric system will be checked. This was the 6th part and for the moment the last part of our ongoing Rice Field Project. To read the other parts click on the tag Rice Field

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