Whether you are in Latvia for its rich history or divine natural scenery, you will need a reliable provider for electricity and heating. You will also be able to find many spots for a romantic date thanks to its beautiful blend of old and new. In case you are not sure of where exactly to visit in Latvia, a simple internet search will provide an adequate guide.
Moreover, you can always hype your love life by taking your partner to visit the ancient fountains and fortresses. You could also visit the Seaside Park in Liepaja or for a nice swim at Cape Kolka. However, you can only achieve this once your utilities are up and running.
You will be pleased to know that Latvia has a relatively low cost of living so paying your utilities is easy even on a budget. Knowing how electricity and heating in Latvia works will help you save costs and time.
Electricity and Heating Services in Latvia
Latvia can get pretty cold during winter with temperatures falling even to minus 25 degrees with snow and ice. So, before you move into an apartment you should ask your landlord if electricity and heating services are available.
Heating in Latvia is supplied through district heating systems, local heat supply and individual heat supply. Most of the heat energy produced in boiler houses and co-generation stations go to households.
The costs will differ depending on the season and your supplier. Most people in Latvia pay more for electricity and gas during colder seasons. Latvenergo and its subsidiary companies are in charge of the electricity market in Latvia.
Latvenergo is owned and managed by the Latvian state. It generates around 2/3 of Latvia’s electricity, handles its delivery to customers, and works directly with sales. The gas market on the other hand, is non-liberalized. It is monopolized by Latvijas Gaze. It imports, transmits, stores and sells gas in Latvia.
Electricity and Gas Rates in Latvia
The amount you pay for gas in Latvia will be inclusive of all taxes. These prices will differ depending on energy prices in the country. However, the price has been consistent since 2015. A year’s supply of natural gas is approximately 0.81 EUR per meter cube. In Latvia you are allowed to choose between a balanced payment plan or to pay on a month-to-month basis depending on gas counter readings.
You should know that paying your gas bills in advance will save you a lot of money. You get a discount every time you pay in advance. Failure to pay your bill on the other hand, will cost you 0.15% of the amount owed. You can make payments through bank transfer or through the e-service website. So, make sure you get a local bank account as soon as you arrive in Latvia.
For electricity, Latvenergo gives you access to various tariffs. The tariff you choose will depend on your monthly electricity usage. It also depends on the duration of the contract that you sign with the company.
For instance, households that do not use more than 200 KWh of electricity monthly subscribe to the 0.068 EUR/kWh tariff. However, this only applies to 12 month contracts. Households that use between 200 and 600 kWh a month subscribe to 0.063 EUR/kWh tariff. The contract should be 24 months.
Most electricity bills are paid online through Latvenergo’s e-service website or your internet bank. Alternatively, electricity payments can be done in cash at post offices of Latvijas Pasts, Maxima supermarkets, or Narvasen kiosks.
Submitting Meter Readings in Latvia
In Latvia, some properties have ordinary meters while others have smart meters. You are lucky if your building has a smart meter. This is because smart electricity meters have their readings done remotely. Hence, you won’t need to call your provider to submit your meter readings.
On the other hand, if your building has an ordinary meter, you have to submit your readings regularly. There is usually a preset date for submitting these readings. This is usually included in your bill. You can also check the provider’s website to find out when the deadline is. Submitting your reading should be easy since there is a self-service portal.
Connecting to Electricity and Heating in Latvia
To subscribe to Latvenergo’s services, you have to send an application to the company. They will require your personal details so make sure you include your ID or passport in the application. Similarly, you might need to provide a proof of residence so attach your tenant agreement to the application.
Since most payments are done through direct bank debits, you should also include your account details. As soon as your application is approved, the company will let you decide the best tariff or plan for your household.
Some providers like ENEFIT let you choose between dynamic and fixed electricity services. With the dynamic services, you can monitor your household usage overtime. It also implies that you get electricity at no extra charges of each kWh you use.
Consumers who go for dynamic usually buy electricity at the same price as it is sold at the exchange. However, the price varies each hour based on consumption tendencies and market consumption. Your best bet therefore, is to understand the exchange prices so that you can use more electricity when they are low.
However, while this option might be more affordable in the long run, in some months you might pay more for electricity. The fixed plan is simpler and more stable. With it, you don’t have to focus on any market factors. To get access, you must sign a 24 months contract that will see you pay a fixed price for electricity.