Home » Bulgaria » An Expat Guide To Energy Suppliers In Bulgaria

An Expat Guide To Energy Suppliers In Bulgaria

The Bulgarian electricity market is highly regulated and dominated by a few major players. Those companies have created a monopoly in the country but despite this, prices remain at a reasonable level. There is no real competition that would allow the consumers to choose their supplier as there is only one licensed electricity provider per predetermined geographical area.There are three main suppliers of electricity in Bulgaria: CEZ for western Bulgaria, Energo-Pro (following the change in ownership of E.ON’s assets in 2012) for north-eastern Bulgaria and EVN for south-eastern Bulgaria. Customers will need to use the services of one of these companies according to their place of residence.

Electricity

In Bulgaria the voltage is 220 volts AC (50 cycles). Sockets there take standard European-style two pin plugs, while standard lamp fittings are the screw type.

When you are moving to a property that is already connected to the electricity distribution grid, an application for connecting the electricity supply will need to be made. This can be done at one of the customer service centres for the corresponding electricity supplier. You will be required to produce identification and confirmation of the address, which can be either a rental contract or property title deeds.

New customers with a residence that is not already connected to the electricity network will need to submit a “request for survey of the conditions for connecting a facility to the electricity distribution network” as well as a “request for signing a connection contract”. They will then have to sign a “contract for sale of electricity”.

CEZ Bulgaria
Customers of CEZ Bulgaria will have their meters read every three months by a company employee. Accurate bills are sent to private customers by post on a quarterly basis and contain the readings of the electricity meter and the amounts due, along with information on deadlines for the next two monthly payments. You will also be advised regarding the times of future meter readings. Each customer pays a monthly instalment calculated on an individual basis depending on their consumption of electricity and the time of the year. In case of overpayment for previous months, customers have a choice to either transfer the money to the next payment or get cash refund at one of the Customer Service Centres.


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ENERGO-PRO (formerly E.ON Bulgaria)
This company looks after nine administrative regions in north-eastern Bulgaria: Varna, Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo, Dobrich, Razgrad, Ruse, Silistra, Targovishte and Shumen.

Meter readings take place each month during a time period stated in the company’s regional meter reading plan. Bills are paid on a monthly basis. If payment is made at the cash desk of a customer service centre, customers will get a receipt with the expected date for the next meter reading and information on when the next payment will be due.

Payment can also be made:

– By direct debit at your bank
– Via ePay.bg
– With a Transcard (payment card)
– At your local Post Office
– By bank transfer

If you choose not to pay the bills at the cash desk, you can get your next payment and meter reading dates by calling 0700 16 161.

EVN Bulgaria
Customers of EVN Bulgaria will have their meters read every month. Bills are calculated on the basis of individual consumption. The invoice contains information on the next meter readings and the payment deadline.

EVN customers can choose one of the following methods to pay their bills:

– At a cash desk of the company
– By direct debit at a bank
– Via ePay.bg
– With a Transcard (payment card)
– At a cashpoint/ATM machine
– By bank transfer

Moving / Disconnecting Services

To disconnect the electricity supply, you will need to give a 30 days’ notice in writing. You are also required to contact the local Customer Service Centre and provide the following information:

• The customer number (on the electricity bill)
• Proof of identity of the customer or of the owner of the property
• Proof that all due payments to the company have been made

Gas

By far the largest gas supplier in Bulgaria is Overgas. The company has licences in 26 towns for natural gas distribution. The areas around Sofia, where the vast majority of expats are settled, have some major gas works going on, so many more homes will have access to gas supplies in the near future.

To have natural gas in your home, you will need to get connected to the network of the gas distribution company licensed in your town. This means that the gas distribution company will build an additional supplying branch from its network and provide you with a gas meter to keep track of your individual consumption. To get connected, you must submit an application for connection to the gas distribution network in one of the designated customer service centers. If there is no gas distribution network in the proximity of your residence, you can still have the benefits of natural gas by using compressed natural gas cylinders. When moving into an apartment, it would be wise to check if bottled gas is permitted, as many new apartments prohibit its use. You may also wish to clarify how to change the cylinders as sometimes this can be a bit tricky.

Gas is billed according to individual consumption and paid in monthly installments. You are able to pay your gas bill in the following ways:

• Direct Debit: This involves an automatic payment of the bill by a bank transfer from your current account at DSK Bank, Raiffeisen Bank or another bank.
• Internet: Online payments with credit cards can be made at www.epay.bg or www.ebg.bg.
• ATM: Use the B-pay service with debit cards issued by Bulgarian banks.
• Bank transfer: You need a payment order to use this option. It is necessary to specify the customer number on your invoice.
• At the cash desk: Payment can be made at Bulgarian Posts, Easypay and Bravo Investments cash desks.

Have you lived in Bulgaria? Share your experiences in the comments below, or answer the questions here to be featured in an interview!


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