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Hong Kong (City) - Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water, Household Waste)
Gas Leakage Emergency: 2435 4511
Water Faults Report: 2824 5000
In Hong Kong, utilities (electricity, gas, household waste) are privately owned, except for water. All utility companies have good customer support, and there are several customer centers available throughout Hong Kong to go to, should you need additional support and advice.
The standard voltage supplied in Hong Kong is either 220 volts single phase or 220/380 3 phase 4 wires. The standard British-style rectangular 3-pin plug is commonly used; but in some older properties and buildings, you may find the 3-pin round plugs. Household appliances from the US, for example, are usually not compatible, and you will need converters / transformers if you wish to use them in Hong Kong. In general, expatriates prefer to purchase electrical appliances in Hong Kong, as they are not expensive, and there is usually a good selection at most shops.
For electricity, there are two main suppliers, depending on where you live. The Hong Kong Electric Holdings (HEH) serves Hong Kong and Lamma Island, and China Light and power (CEP) serves Kowloon, the New Territories and Outlying Islands. The contact details for both companies are:
HEH: Hong Kong and Lamma Island
9/F Electric Centre, 28 City Garden Road, North Point, Hong Kong
24-Hour Emergency Hotline: 2555 4000
Customer Service: 2887 3411
CLP: Kowloon, New Territories and Outlying Islands
147 Argyle Street, Kowloon
24-Hour Emergency Hotline: 2728 8333
Customer Service: Dial CLP INFO LINE (2678 2678)
To open an electricity account with HEH or CLP, you can do so online, by fax, or in person (at the Customer Service Centre in North Point for HEH, and at any of the 15 CLP Customer Service Centers in Kowloon and the New Territories for CLP). You will need your Hong Kong Identification Card or passport details. You will be asked to make a deposit, which is usually about 2 months' consumption. You can also make transfers, notifying change of address within Hong Kong, terminate the account, etc online at their respective websites.
Most properties in Hong Kong are supplied with piped gas, which is supplied by Towngas (Tel: 2880 6988; website www.towngas.com). You can open an account online or in person at the nearest customer service centre. You will need a proof of address to open an account. You can also transfer and terminate accounts online. For areas that not serviced by piped gas, bottled gas (LPG cylinders) can be arranged for gas stoves. You can order from suppliers.
Water and sewage in Hong Kong is supplied and managed by the Water Supplies Department of the Water Authority (43/F Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; Tel: 2824 500; website www.wsd.gov.hk). To apply for a water account online, click here. Alternatively, you may wish to apply in person at any of the customer service centers. Water is metered and bills are usually calculated over 4 months.
It is a good idea to boil tap water for drinking purposes to rid of the smell of chlorine. Tap water in Hong Kong is safe to drink.
For a range of housing-related queries, there is a useful website maintained by the Hong Kong government at www.gov.hk.
For electricity, a fuel clause charge is adjusted according to the cost of fuel. You can pay for your electricity bills in many ways – credit/debit, by check via post, ATM, online transfer, by cash in person, and of course, by PPS.
For tariffs by HEP (Hong Kong and Lamma islands), refer to their website. A minimum charge (less than HKD$20) applies, even if there is no consumption used, or for any consumption up to 20 units. Meters are read monthly, and bills are issued monthly as well.
For tariffs by CLP (Kowloon, New Territories and Outlying Islands), refer to their website. A minimum charge (HKD$30) applies. Meters are read bi-monthly, and bills are issued bi-monthly as well. You can even pay for your CLP electricity bills at any MTR customer service centre.
For water and sewerage tariffs, click here.
Recycling efforts in Hong Kong was recently introduced territory-wide in 2005 to encourage more people to separate their domestic waste. Depending on where you live, the methods of separation and recovery or collection may differ. There is a useful website at www.wastereduction.gov.hk that offers information on collection points, second-hand exchange and waste reduction tips.