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Utilities

Portugal - Utilities


The public utilities infrastructure in Portugal is in the process of improvement, but outages may sometimes occur. Energy costs are relatively expensive as Portugal relies a great deal upon fuel imported from abroad. Utility bills should be paid promptly, or you may have the service interrupted without warning.


Water

Lisbon has been known to experience shortages of water during the summer months, and supply may occasionally be curtailed.

Residential water consumption is metered and billing is based upon usage. Monthly water bills are hand-delivered. You may pay them on the spot, or you may pay at the local water utility office. You may also set up automated monthly bank withdrawal payments.

Tap water is not considered a health risk in Portugal. Bottled water is available for purchase should you prefer.

Added March 2007 by Marcia:
Water bills in Portugal are no longer paid on the spot and they come every two months, just like electricity bills.


Electricity

Electric bills are hand-delivered each month. You may pay them on the spot, or you may pay at the local electric utility office. You may also set up automated monthly bank withdrawal payments.

Electricity is 220v, 50 cycles. Electrical appliances with rotating parts, such as certain electric clocks, electric timers, CD players, and tape recorders will not operate properly unless adapted to 50 cycles. Electric heaters are common sources of heat, although their initial purchase is rather expensive.

Power cuts occasionally occur.


Gas

Natural gas distribution is spotty, and largely confined to greater Lisbon. Where provided, gas bills are hand-delivered each month. You may pay them on the spot, or you may pay at the main gas utility office. You may also set up automated monthly bank withdrawal payments.

LPG tanks are widely used for cooking, residential water heaters and domestic heating. There are LPG vendors located throughout the country.

Many newer apartment buildings maintain a reserve of bottled gas that is distributed to their units via private pipeline.


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