Setting up Utilities Overseas

When moving overseas you’re going to need running water, electricity, gas, garbage and possibly cable and internet services. Do you know how to go about setting them up when you move to a new country? Read on for tips and things to remember when setting up your utilities overseas.

Home country utilities

After you’ve found a suitable place to live when moving overseas you’re going to need to set up your utility services such as water, electricity and gas. Before you start contacting foreign service providers, have you scheduled the shut off of your utilities at home first?

Some municipal utility companies require a certain amount of notice before they can shut off your gas or electricity, and you of course want to make sure that you time out your shut off to coincide with your departure from your home country.


Now that you’re near ready to move overseas, you should find out which local company provides you with the utilities you’ll be needing. Before you go, do some research online either on the local town or municipality’s website and check if they list which company provides services for where you’ll be moving. Once you’ve figured out which company to contact you can begin contacting them directly either over the phone or on their website.

Getting connected

More often than not, if you’re moving to a new home, it will already be connected to gas lines, water lines and electricity but you will have to have them transferred to your name from the previous tenant or homeowner. If you’re renting your home or apartment after your move and your monthly rent is all inclusive, check with your landlord to see what your rent is covering.

It’s best to call your new provider at least two or three weeks before your arrival and move-in date. This will give the local company plenty of time to get your home set up and ready for you to move in. However, depending on when you move, it could mean you may have to wait longer depending on how busy it is.

You may have to fill out an application for services and pay a security deposit depending on the company, but once they see that you will reliably pay your bill you may be able to have your deposit returned. If you are charged a deposit or are given a higher rate upfront because of a poor credit rating, you may be able to have your payment lowered once you’ve made several payments to the company.

When transferring the billing information from the old tenant to the new tenant (you), you will likely need this information:

  • Meter number
  • Meter reading
  • Date of transfer
  • Contact information for previous tenant, homeowner
  • Exact address of the property
  • Name and bank account information for the new tenant or occupant

Other utilities

Once you’ve setup your basic utilities of water, gas and electricity, you can focus on your other utilities like telephone, TV and internet services. Some of these services might not be essential to you, but they can still be useful.

In the same way that you would locate your utility provider by visiting the town website, search the town’s website for a telephone provider as well. Certain companies might not offer services in some regions and you may not have the high-speeds you’re used to at home.

If you can’t find anything on your host town’s website a quick search on expat forums can likely yield useful results.

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