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United States of America (USA) - Electricity

What is the Electrical System in Use?

In the United States the electrical system is 120V, 60 Hz and the plug type has 2 flat blades parallel to each other. Most electrical outlets are controlled by a switch.

Do Electrical Items from the UK/Europe Need to Use Adaptors and/or Transformers in Order to Work Safely?

Yes, because of the differences between an American plug and a British or European plug, an adaptor and/or transformer will be required.

How Do You Get Connected?

There are 50 states in the Union and each state has multiple power companies that serve different areas. In order to get power you need to call the local company - these companies generally have their information listed on the very first page of the local phone book. They will tell you whether or not you need to come into the office to get connected. Some people have to take things like a lease agreement or mortgage agreement to show that they have the right to have the power turned on for that particular address. The company may or may not ask for a deposit but if they do ask for one when the power has been on for a year with no missed or late payments it will be credited to your account and may cover an entire month’s bill.

How Often is the Meter Read?

The power company will generally send someone to read the meter once a month. However, right now some companies are changing over to digital meters. With these meters no one needs to come out to read them. Once a month, on a specified date, the meter will show a reading to the computers at the power company in order to calculate the bill.

How Often will You Be Billed?

The power companies generally send a bill out once every month. The date that a customer gets it and the date that it is due will be determined by when the power was initially turned on.

How Do You Pay the Bill?

There are a few different ways that a power bill can be paid. Customers can pay the bill in the power company’s local office with cash, check (cheque), money order, credit or debit card. Alternatively, the customer can send a check or money order through the mail.

Most power companies now also offer paperless billing where the customer gets their monthly bill by e-mail. The customer then has a choice of paying online, mail payment or paying in the office. If the customer decides to pay the bill online then they can pay with a credit or debit card and in some places even PayPal. If a customer chooses to pay in this fashion they can set it up with the power company for automatic bill pay where the customer’s credit or debit card will be charged for the full amount of the bill on a predetermined date each month.

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