Moving to Romania just like any other foreign country can be both exhilarating and stressful for an expat. It is worse if you are moving without your family and coming from a country where the four seasons of Summer-Autumn-Winter-Spring are never experienced. Leaving loved ones behind, you only need to find other ways to keep warm and motivated for it is never as easy as one may assume. However, while your first concern will be staying connected with them in Romania, you will also need a reliable energy provider.
Electricity and gas are among the most important utilities you must set up before moving to your new home. I know bills and utilities are not your favorite topics but they are the only way to make your home as comfortable as possible. The truth is, as daunting as paying your bills every month can be, you cannot live without them. So, save yourself a lot of pressure and time by finding out about electricity and heating in Romania.
Electricity and Heating Services in Romania
Maybe I should start by mentioning that Romania’s energy prices are much lower than EU average. So you should be able to afford electricity and heating in Romania with little to no hustle. Similarly, electricity is the easiest heating source to access in the country as most households are connected to the electricity grid.
Accessing gas in Romania is another story altogether. You will notice that accessing gas in Romania is more limited compared to electricity. However, some households in the urban areas still use gas for heating and cooking. So, if you are moving to an urban area don’t be surprised if your house is connected to a gas network.
Before you move to your new house or sign a contract, ask the landlord if these utilities are available. You should also confirm if they are included in the rental contract. If they are not then you can choose your own provider. Also remember that keeping your utility bills in your name is much cheaper than having them in your landlord’s name.
I should also let you know that most homes in Romania are connected to the public heating network. The consumption will be measured periodically using a meter and you receive your bill with a one month delay. Meaning that if you move into your new home in May, you will receive your bill in June for May’s consumption.
Electricity and Gas Providers in Romania
The good news for you is that the energy sector in Romania is much liberalized. There are many electricity and gas providers in the country. Each provider offers different tariffs and services depending on their user’s needs. So, you will be able to choose a provider that meets your needs and budget. Each provider will expect you to sign a contract that details your payment plan and tariff.
Transelectrica SA manages and operates the electricity transmission system in Romania. The company is majorly owned by the state hence this shouldn’t be surprising. It works in conjunction with other companies to supply electricity to most households. Among these suppliers are; Enel Energie Muntenia, Enel Energie, CEZ (currently Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets – MIRA), Electrica, covering different regions and E.On.
There are more than 176 licensed gas suppliers and electricity suppliers in Romania. However, only 14 of these provide both gas and electricity. You should check the providers in your area to see if they provide both. Choosing one supplier for both utilities will give you access to affordable package deals. It will also make it easier for you to pay your bills since dealing with one company is simpler.
Electricity and Gas Bills in Romania
Electricity in Romania is measured using a meter. So, you can expect to pay your electricity bill on a monthly basis depending on your provider. The monthly bill is an estimate of your monthly average consumption based on the previous year’s readings.
However, periodically, your provider will send a representative to read your meter. Subsequently, the provider will adjust your meter accordingly to the correct reading. The adjustments are usually the difference between your real consumption level and the one declared or calculated based on estimates.
Depending on your living conditions, you might find your gas bill added to your utility invoice. But in most cases, your gas bill will come separately with your electricity and water bill. This is especially true if your house is fitted with an individual central heating system that uses gas. An individual central heating system is better than a public one because you can adjust it as you please. So you are lucky if you have one. You should however, note that a public heating system is cheaper.
Here’s one crazy fact about utility bills in Romania; if you live in an apartment, you will find your bill displayed at the notice board from the entrance. Crazy right? Anyway, don’t let this bother you so much because it is not the same policy for all buildings in the country. But in such a case, the building administrator usually makes the payments. He or she will notify you on the period in which he anticipates to make the payment.