Setting Up Utilities
Whether renting or buying, you will need to get some type of utility set up. The most important item you need to get set up is your codice fiscale. Without this they cannot do anything for you. This must be a valid codice fiscale, registered with the Ufficio delle Entrate.
If you are taking over the utilities from someone else, you will need to find out if they cancelled their account or not (subentro = to take over, voltura = transfer). They should provide you with a copy of their final bill and you should both read the meter to verify the final bill so that you do not incur extra charges. When setting up the utilities you will use the information from the final bill of the previous tenant to confirm readings and contract information.
If your utilities are included in your rent you should have the landlord give you a final itemized accounting at the end of the year. As I wrote in the article about paying bills, they do not read the meter often here in Italy. Normally, for gas as an example, they read once a year (conguaglio). During the rest of the year they estimate your usage from the previous year. If perchance you use a lot more than the previous tenant, you will get a whopper of a bill at year end. Landlords use the same system for renters.
If instead you are starting with a new construction you will have to get hook ups (allacciamento) which can be costly if you do not live near a main line.
Electricity in Italy is not the same as in the many places that we Expats come from. In the U.S. for example I could run every large appliance that I wanted without fear that the fuse would blow. Here though, you are given a max amount of Kilowatts that you can use at any given time. A normal set up is for 3 kW which is really 3.2 kW. When you figure that anything that makes heat (oven, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, toaster, hair dryer, etc.) uses around 2 kW each, if you try to turn on a second large item or a few smaller ones, you will blow a fuse. Because of the influx of larger appliances, things have changed a bit. You can now request more kW but you will have to pay to get the usage upped as well as the price per kW is higher. Personally I think it is worth the cost.
HOOKING UP ELECTRICITY
There are a few different ways to get a new contract started. If you are confident in your Italian then by phone is the easiest. The number for ENEL is 800 900 800 or 199 50 50 55 from a cell phone.
If you are not confident then you should find your nearest QuiENEL office and go there in person. To find one near you, go to http://www.enel.it/sportello_online/elettricita/quienel/index_casa.asp and click on "Trova il QuiEnel corner più vicino a te". It will ask for your address and it will tell you where the nearest office is.
You will need to provide the following items when requested:
- Client Number (of the previous tenant if applicable) - Numero cliente
- Your identity document - Estremi di un documento d'identità
- Your tax number for the person or business who will be the account holder - Codice fiscale e/o partita IVA della persona o società alla quale è intestato il contratto
- The amount of power requested (3, 4.5 or 6 kW) - Potenza richiesta
- The current reading of the meter - Lettura del contatore
- Your bank information (IBAN) to make direct payments if you would like - Coordinate bancarie per l'adesione al Club Contowatt
- The address where to send the closing bill to the old tenant (if applicable) - Indirizzo dove inviare la bolletta di chiusura conto in caso di voltura
- The address to send the contract to. - Indirizzo dove inviare il fascicolo contrattuale