Getting Electricity in


Below is a detailed summary of the procedures, time and cost required for a business to obtain an electricity connection for a newly constructed building in Lao PDR.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Lao PDR to 189 other economies.

  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs

    Submit application to EDL and await estimate and technical specifications

    Agency: EDL

    The application for an electricity connection can be submitted to EDL by the construction company or by the building owner (it is more common that the construction company submits the application).

    Usually the application is submitted in person with attached documents in hard copies. The following documents have to be attached (1) Application for a connection as a new user; (2) Load and in house wiring designs (3) Distribution panel design (4) Building location (5) in some cases other clearances (wire designs + panel designs + estimate of how much the warehouse is going to consume).

    EDL reviews the documents and responds with the following information: (1) the nearest substation or the point where the connection can be made (2) distance between the substation and the building (3) recommendation of suitable transformers, a power transformer (PT) and a current transformer (CT), and ground resistance for the transformer.

    Distribution officer will send an engineer to the site to check how far it is from the distribution network, check the load and then issue a cost estimate.

    The utility obtains the excavation permit for the customer. It takes 7 days on average to get the excavation permit.

    37 calendar days LAK 0
    * 2

    Receive site inspection by EDL for preparing technical specifications

    Agency: EDL

    EDL will visit the site to determine arrangements for an optimal connection and aid the preparation of technical conditions. The engineer will check how far it is from the distribution network, check the load and then issue a cost estimate. It is required that someone from the applicant’s party is present at the site during the inspection.

    1 calendar day LAK 0

    Await preparation and approval of detailed technical design and installation plan

    Agency: Electrical contractor

    The electrical contractor/construction company in charge of the external connection works prepares a detailed technical design of the external connection and an installation plan.

    When the electrical contractor/construction company submits the technical design to EDL for approval, registration documents for the chief engineer have to be submitted as well. The construction company must propose and assign someone to be the chief electrical engineer who is responsible for designing and supervision of the project. The assignment has to be approved by EDL. The registration of the chief electrical engineer is valid only for the proposed project. The construction company has to register a chief electrical engineer for every project it carries out.

    The approval of the technical design is granted together with the proposal of the consumption fees so arrangements for the supply of electricity are completed at this stage as well.

    30 calendar days LAK 3,650,000

    Await completion of external works by electrical contractor

    Agency: Electrical Contractor

    Once the electrical design is approved by EDL the electrical installation company can start external connection works.

    The meter can be installed during the final stage of the external connection works by the electrical contractor.

    60 calendar days USD 23,500
    * 5

    Await registration of meter at EDL

    Agency: EDL

    The meter can be installed by an electrical contractor but it must be bought and registered with EDL. The meter is registered when it is bought at the utility.

    1 calendar day LAK 2,400,000

    Receive external inspection by EDL and then electricity flow

    Agency: EDL

    After the external connection works are completed by the electrical contractor there is an external inspection by EDL.
    During the inspection a representative of the construction company/electrical contractor has to be present.

    After the electrical installation is approved, the electricity can be supplied instantly.

    7 calendar days LAK 1,000,000

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Reliability of supply and transparency of tariff index (0-8)
    Total duration and frequency of outages per customer a year (0-3)
    System average interruption duration index (SAIDI) 49.28
    System average interruption frequency index (SAIFI) 9.42
    Mechanisms for monitoring outages (0-1)
    Does the distribution utility use automated tools to monitor outages? No
    Mechanisms for restoring service (0-1)
    Does the distribution utility use automated tools to restore service? No
    Regulatory monitoring (0-1)
    Does a regulator—that is, an entity separate from the utility—monitor the utility’s performance on reliability of supply? No
    Financial deterrents aimed at limiting outages (0-1)
    Does the utility either pay compensation to customers or face fines by the regulator (or both) if outages exceed a certain cap? No
    Communication of tariffs and tariff changes (0-1)
    Are effective tariffs available online? Yes
    Link to the website, if available online http://www.edl.com.la/en/page.php?post_id=6
    Are customers notified of a change in tariff ahead of the billing cycle? Yes
    Price of electricity (US cents per kWh) 11.3


    If the duration and frequency of outages is 100 or less, the economy is eligible to score on the Reliability of supply and transparency of tariff index.

    If the duration and frequency of outages is not available, or is over 100, the economy is not eligible to score on the index.