Utility bills payment in Bulgaria: services and rates
As soon as you buy an apartment in Bulgaria, you, as the owner, get obligations to pay utility bills. So, it is better to know in advance how much electricity costs in Bulgaria in 2022, if there are night power rates, how to pay for water or what is the gas price in Bulgaria for people.
Utility bills in Bulgaria include not only electricity, water, telephone, and Internet. You might also face a necessity to pay for the maintenance of the elevator and the territory around your apartment building, as well as for cleaning corridors and entrances. It is not easy to get a full picture of all the utility bills and ways to pay them. Apart Estate agency will tell you in detail how to pay utility bills in Bulgaria, so your electricity, communications and water are not turned off for debts.
Key utility bills in Bulgaria
As in most European countries, utility payments in Bulgaria are mandatory. Every year their percentage in the overall cost structure is growing. However no matter how high the bills are, nowadays, it is impossible to imagine a normal life in an apartment, house or townhouse without these services.
Having bought an apartment or cottage in Bulgaria, get ready to pay for the following services:
- Electricity. Depending on the region, several companies can be a supplier. For example, in Burgas it is the Austrian concern – EVN, in Varna – Energo-Pro.
- Water. The company called VIK (water supply and sewerage) supplies water to residential buildings and enterprises. Each city has its own branch.
- Heating and hot water. This service is available not in all the residential buildings but mainly in those built before 1985, as well as in some new buildings. As a rule, such property in Burgas and Varna is in great demand among buyers. Living buildings and houses not connected to the central heating system are heated by means of electricity, solar panels, firewood and pellets. Among the main suppliers of central heating are Toplofikatsia and EVN.
- Garbage and domestic waste disposal. Payments for these utilities are included in the annual property tax. They are fixed and to be paid to the municipality.
- TV, domestic internet. As a rule, you can buy a cable TV and Internet package from specialized commercial organizations, for instance Skat, Comnet, Bulsatcom, or Digicom, as well as from mobile operators, for example, Vivacom. There are such suppliers in Burgas, Ravda, Sunny Beach and other resorts.
- Mobile and domestic telephone. Communication costs are usually not included in the utility bills. However, one can’t imagine living without these services nowadays, so it is worth mentioning them. Owners of property in Bulgaria often use the mobile operators’ services. The main suppliers are A1, Vivacom, and Yettel (until 2022 known as Telenor).
Utility bills are usually paid at the offices of supplier companies, at post offices, or at the branches of specialized payment suppliers, for example, Easypay. If you are the owner of an apartment in a residential complex, it is possible to delegate payment for utility bills to a management company.
Another option is online payment. It is enough to register the purchased property in the relevant organization, create a profile and make monthly payments by bank transfer.
Apart Estate draws the attention of all property buyers to the need to visit electricity, cold water and heating suppliers to re-register as a new owner.
The electricity suppliers demonstrate the strictest approach to utility bills payment in Bulgaria. They clearly define the payment period. As soon as it passes by, they start charging interest. If payment is not made within 10 days from the due date, they simply turn it off. To get the power again, you will have to pay the debt as well as a separate service.
Another thing you need to know about electricity payments, is availability of different rates for people and industrial and commercial companies. They differ significantly. So, please note that if you live in a residential building, complex or a house without Act 16, or in an apartment which does not have a status of living premises, you also will have to pay for power at a commercial rate. In order not to become a hostage to high electricity prices, it is recommended to carefully read the documents for the apartment you are buying in Bulgaria.
Apart Estate agency always pays special attention to the status of the offered property. This allows you to enjoy living in a great place and not overpay for utilities.
In Bulgaria, there are night and day power rates. In the second quarter of 2022, the daytime tariff is 0.24 leva/kWh, the night electricity tariff in Bulgaria is 0.14 leva/kWh including VAT. In winter, discounted prices are valid from 22.00 to 6.00 in the morning, in summer – from 23.00 to 7.00. Thanks to this approach, many people get the opportunity to save on electricity by turning on the washing machine at night or preparing holiday meals when the lower tariff is valid.
Cold water payment
Water meters are installed in each apartment and a cottage. If they are not installed in a multi-store living building or a residential complex, then the owners of property have to pay in proportion to the area of their real estate. Note that this approach can be encountered in closed communities! It does not always suit tenants because of a risk of unfair payments.
For instance, a couple of pensioners live in a one-bedroom apartment, while a family with two kids lives in a studio apartment. The above described approach can lead to higher cold water bills for pensioners, though they use less water than the family with children.
The owners of property in Bulgaria pay for cold water on a monthly basis. Consumers get bills which include information from the water meters as of the beginning and end of the reporting period, as well as amounts to be paid.
In the first half of 2022, cold water for domestic consumers costs about 2.95 leva/ m3 including VAT.
Owners of industrial facilities can also order non-potable water. It costs 0.94 leva/m3.
Heating rates in Bulgaria
The price for heating is 98.48 leva per megawatt per hour. How much heat energy, as well as hot water, was spent is recorded by means of special meters. In winter, it is required to pay for heating and water, while outside the heating season – only for hot water.
Payments for central heating and hot water must be made within 45 days from the end date of the heating period. For example, payment for March is due by the 15th of May.
It is worth noting that, despite the meters installed, you will have to pay a notional amount based on expected consumption. At the end of the heating season, the actual consumption is reconciled with the expected one, and payments are recalculated to correspond to the actual figures. As a result, a so-called reconciliation invoice gets issued. The consumers of heating are invited to pay the debt that has arisen or, if there was an overpayment, to keep it for a future period.
As a rule, such a reconciliation invoice for heating is issued in June-July.
The order of paying mobile telephone, the Internet and domestic television bills depends on the provider and the chosen tariff plan. Frankly speaking, services from different operators cost more or less the same. If you see more or less expensive bills, then just look at the packages you use – they differ by number of channels, available minutes for calls, Internet speed and prepaid megabytes.
So, domestic 50 Mb/ sec. Internet costs from 14 leva per month, cable TV (140 channels) - from 16 leva. The price of a minimum package of mobile calls with limited traffic and minutes is about 12 leva/ month.
If you exceed the number of prepaid minutes of mobile calls or megabytes, you will have to make an additional payment.
Each operator determines the terms of payments. As a rule, they allow 2 weeks for payment upon issuing an invoice. Upon completing this period, they charge penalties.
Utility bills in Bulgaria represent significant costs for each family, especially in winter. To reduce them, carefully choose the real estate you are buying. The Apart Estate agency will help you find a warm, high-quality apartment with Act 16, so that your electricity and heating costs will be significantly reduced.