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Living in Spain - Key Information

Utilities in Spain

Electricity: Immediately after buying or renting a property you should sign a contract with the local electricity company. This will entail a visit to the local office in order to register.

You need to take with you some identification (passport or residence card) and the contract and bills paid by the previous owner.

The electricity supply in most of Spain is 220 volts AC with a frequency of 50 hertz (cycles). Some areas still have a 110 volt supply though.

Power cuts are frequent in many areas of Spain. When it rains heavily the electricity supply can become very unstable. If you live in an area where cuts are frequent and you rely on electricity for your livelihood, e.g. for operating a computer, fax machine and other equipment, it may be a good idea to install a backup generator.

You will be billed bi-monthly for electricity.

Gas: Mains gas is available in major cities only in Spain. When moving into a property with mains gas, you must contact the local gas company to have the gas switched on, the meter read and to sign a supply contract. As with electricity, you're billed every two months and bills include VAT (IVA) at 16 per cent.

Gas bottles (bombonas) are delivered to homes by Repsol Butano (the company responsible for distributing gas bottles), for which a contract is required.

Water: The supply of water is a major concern in Spain - the price paid for the beautiful weather.

Water is controlled by local municipalities, many of which have their own wells. In some municipalities, water distribution is the responsibility of a private company.

The cost of connection for a new home can vary from 50 to 300 Euros. In most areas there is a standing quarterly charge for a minimum consumption.

For more in depth information on this topic, we highly recommend:

Living and Working in Spain: A Survival Guide

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