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Argentina - Utilities

There are 12 companies which supply electricity to the Argentine people and 8 which supply gas. Expats may find that they have little choice of suppliers if they choose to live outside Buenos Aires. Town halls in smaller communities can provide details of local suppliers and give you a number to ring to arrange for utilities to be connected to your home if they are not already. Installations are not very fast, they can sometimes take several weeks so it is best to plan as far ahead as possible.

Electricity runs on a 220 volt system and uses the European standard two pin plug, so a European adaptor will suffice for some equipment, though users may find that older buildings have slightly different systems. Your landlord will be able to advise on which adaptors you may need, if any. Electricity costs are among the lowest in the Americas, though those households with high usage will find they are charged more. Utility companies accept payments online via a direct debit or manual system, a method which is favoured above paying in person.

When renting a property, utilities are sometimes included in the costs, although this is not always the case and tenants should make sure they have a list of all items which are included in monthly rental charges. Utility charges such as gas, electricity and water rates are normally billed every two months. You may also find that the bill comes addressed to a previous tenant, which is generally not a problem.

As utility bills do not affect credit rating it does not really matter whose name is on the bill, and the utility companies make the name change a long-winded process so most people will not bother. When you contact the company to reconnect the services they may not automatically make a note of the name of the new tenant. Payment is monitored though and if a bill is issued and not paid they simply cut you off with very little notice.

Tap water is generally considered safe to drink, particularly in the larger towns. Those living remotely may find that tap water is not recommended for consumption but local authorities can advise on this when you move to the area. Many websites will advise travellers to avoid tap water if possible just to be on the safe side and if you have any doubts the purchase of bottled water or a water filter is recommended.

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