As soon as you move to Portugal, your main concern after securing a house or apartment will be the utilities to expect as part of a monthly bill. Connecting to utilities will not only make you feel more at home but also enhance the comfort of your home. On top of your utility list must be electricity and gas since they not only warm your house but also aid in cooking. Besides, the need to connect with family and friends back home will send you looking for Portuguese internet and TV.
Luckily for you, connecting to electricity and gas in Portugal is rather straight forward. And what’s more, you will have access to many providers and tariffs. The gas and electricity market is much liberalized. Take advantage of this and shop around for the best and cheapest provider. So, whether you are moving to a city or rural area, you can still count on having access to electricity and gas. Knowing a thing or two about how to connect to this facilities will save you a lot of time and money.
Gas and Electricity Services in Portugal
Portugal’s electricity and gas market is much more liberalized compared to other European countries. Gas and electricity are the main sources of heat for most households in the country so this makes sense. The only limiting factor to choosing the best provider for you will be location. So, make sure you confirm which providers are available in your area.
Depending on whether you are renting or buying property, the procedure for connecting to these utilities will vary from one provider to another. However, if you are buying a new property, then chances are that it is not connected to the grid. So, your first priority should be calling the network distributor. The process will also take a bit longer than if you were renting.
The story is different if you are renting or buying property that is already connected to the electricity grid. Here, you will have to transfer the account to your own name before settling in your new home. So, call the provider as soon as possible to get the process started. Electricity and gas could be included in your rental contract so, you should confirm with the landlord before signing the contract.
If you discover that these utilities are not included in the contract, then you are free to choose your own provider. I would recommend keeping the existing account to save you time and paperwork.
Setting up on electricity and gas in Portugal
You can access gas and electricity networks from anywhere in Portugal. So, whether you are looking to connect your home or business, you are in luck. The only downside will be the costs involved in accessing these utilities. Energy prices in Portugal are much higher than in other European countries.
The high prices can be linked to high taxes that can make paying your bills a stressful and daunting process. You should also note that your bills will vary depending on whether it is during hot or cold periods. This will make sense as soon as you realize that most properties don’t have a centralized heating and cooling system. Similarly, old homes are poorly insulated and have relatively old appliances.
Electricity and Gas Providers in Portugal
You will realize that many homes in the country still consider EDP as their default provider. However, don’t let this discourage you from shopping around for the best provider. Another thing you will notice is that most homes are not connected to the mains gas network. This is because gas is not as common in the country as electricity. But don’t worry, you can still get bottled gas from the nearest fuel station or dial a delivery service.
While some providers offer both gas and electricity services, others only offer one of the two. Similarly, all the providers offer different tariffs so you can choose one depending on your budget and needs. This could be a time consuming process if you are not well prepared. However you should remember that it will save you a lot of money and help you choose the best.
Choosing an Energy Provider and Connecting your Supply in Portugal
The current energy providers in Portugal include EDP, Gold Energy, Simples Energy and LUZiGAS. You can use comparison websites to find the best supplier for your gas and electricity needs. Examples of comparison websites in Portugal include Comparaja and PoupaEnergia.
For connection most providers need proof of identity (passport or ID card), your NIF number, details of your Portuguese bank account and proof of address. If you are transferring an account to your name, you will also need the details of the previous occupant. Remember to also check the meter readings before you connect to ensure that you only pay for your usage.
Most providers will let you pay your bills through automatic collection from your bank account. So, you should ensure that you get a local bank account as soon as you arrive in Portugal. Some providers will also allow you to pay your bills at your nearest Multibanco ATM. Depending on your provider, you will likely make monthly payments and you will receive an annual statement.