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Utilities (Electricity, Gas and Water)

Bulgaria - Utilities (Electricity, Gas and Water)


This section covers some basic information about gas, electricity and water supply within Bulgaria. If you are renting property, please consult your landlord or lettings agency for local utilities information. Where information has been difficult to find, we have included useful links.


Electricity

In Bulgaria the voltage is 220 volts AC (50 cycles). Plugs are of the round two-pin continental type, while lamp fittings are the screw type.

Electricity is billed according to the amount used. Bills arrive monthly by post. In rented accommodation these are usually in the landlord's name.

Payment can be made through a Bulgarian bank account, at your local post office, online or using a debit card.

Central heating is paid monthly at a fixed amount. At the end of the year a reading is taken, and the customer is either credited or charged the balance due.


Gas

Gas is also billed according to consumption. Billing is monthly - in rented property this is often in the landlord's name. As with electricity, payment can be through a Bulgarian bank account, at the post office, via the Internet or using a debit card.

The largest gas supplier is Overgas, with licences in 26 towns for natural gas distribution. The areas around Sofia, where most expats in Bulgaria live, are undergoing major gasification, so more homes will have access to gas supplies.

The Overgas website has sections on arranging supply but these were blank at the time of writing (!):

http://www.overgas.bg/index.jsp?language=En


Water

Drinking water in major towns is generally safe, though it may be wise to drink bottled water in more rural areas.

Water supplies are billed according to the amount used. Bills arrive monthly and can be paid as above for gas and electricity.

Added March 2007 by Mila: Regarding drinking water in Bulgaria, it is advisable to buy bottled water in some rural areas, but even more advisable to buy bottled water or just take water for drinking from the mineral sprins in Sofia. The water purification system in all parts of Bulgaria is esentially the same, but bigger cities tend to be more polluted.

E.g.: In most municipalities on the northern face of the Balkan Mountain, the running water is taken directly from river springs high up the mountain and nevertheless purified again. On the other hand, I recall the story of my boyfriend's cousin who graduated from the Institute for Chemical Technology in Sofia. He said that a random check of the tap water in the institute during a lab exercise showed abnormal quantities of iron and other metals in the water.

The statements in the site regarding the quality of the drinking water in areas outside of the capital are true only for some regions around Varna and Burgas. Otherwise, tap water outside of Sofia - especially in Northern Central Bulgaria and around Rila is excellent for drinking.


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