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Bahrain - Utilities

Electricity and water are controlled by one ministry in Bahrain. When you receive an electricity bill in the country it often includes the cost of water charges. Connections to these services are usually arranged by the landlord of the property but occasionally the tenant may have to make the arrangements themselves. In order to do this you will need your residency permit/ID card and a copy of the tenancy agreement which will need to be produced during a short visit to the Ministry’s offices. There are several situated around the capital and some are placed in malls for easy access to all.

Expatriates are expected to pay a deposit when they have these services connected but the connections are made in a very short time. These deposits can be transferred to a new address if you need to move house but are refundable when you leave.

The electricity supply is on a 220 volt system which is the same as the British system, but most appliances are supplied with a two pin plug. Adaptors are readily available in most shops. Summer is usually the time for a high electricity bill as most people will use their air conditioning units a lot. You may also find that the more you use the more you pay, as high users end up on a higher tariff. Water charges are quite high and if you are thought to be using too much water you may be visited by ministry officials.

The tap water is only considered to be safe to drink in one or two areas and it is advisable to use bottled water. It is possible to buy drinking water in five gallon containers from the supermarket and it is possible to have these delivered to your home. A deposit is payable on the first delivery of bottles and then these can be left out to be exchanged by the delivery man. Coupons can be purchased so you do not have to be there to pay the delivery driver.

Only a few areas have access to mains gas but there are several companies which supply bottled gas. This is normally used for cooking and heating water. Bottled gas is reasonably priced and can be delivered directly to your home. A deposit is payable on the bottle then there is a small charge to have it refilled. As with the electricity connection, obtaining gas supplies is fairly quick as most companies are happy to supply at short notice but you should become familiar with the office opening hours to ensure that you are able to contact them.

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