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Last updated: 23 January 2024

History of domestic electricity

There is no standard mains voltage throughout the world and also the frequency, i.e. the number of times the current changes direction per second, is not everywhere the same. Moreover, electrical plugs and sockets are also different in many countries. Those seemingly unimportant differences, however, have some unpleasant consequences. Most appliances bought overseas simply cannot be connected to the wall outlets at home. There are only two ways to solve this problem: you just cut off the original plug top and replace it with the one that is standard in your country, or you buy an unhandy and ugly adapter.

While it is easy to buy a plug adapter or a new local plug for your foreign appliances, in many cases this only solves half of the problem, because it doesn’t help with the possible voltage disparity.
A 120-volt electrical appliance designed for use in North America or Japan will provide a nice fireworks display – complete with sparks and smoke – if plugged into a European socket.

It goes without saying that the lack of a single voltage, frequency and globally standardized plugs entail many extra costs for manufacturers and consumers and moreover, they increase the burden on the environment.

Pure waste and unnecessary pollution!

Click here to find out why there is no universal standard electric plug which can be used everywhere in the world.

Click here to find out why the voltage in the Americas and Japan is only half that of the rest of the world.

Check out all plug types used around the world