Insights into what is involved in buying, selling & living in Portugal

Electricity supply in Portugal has historically been provided only by Electricidade de Portugal (EDP). Power provided by EDP is 220V AC, 50Hz single-phase or 380V AC, 50Hz three-phase. This is the same as in most of mainland Europe and Africa. It is different from that supplied in USA, UK, Ireland and most of anglophile Africa. The liberalization of the electricity and gas markets in Portugal is an on-going process since 2000, which will now enter its final phase with the gradual extinction of tariffs adjusted to the generality of consumers. EDP as we know it now is ending due to a law that opened the market to other energy companies. Amongst these new companies is EDP Comercial. Electricity companies normally provide connections to premises within 1-km of one of their transformers. Owners of houses more than one kilometre from a transformer may request quotations for the installation of an additional transformer and a special line. The charges for low-voltage domestic supplies are made up of three components: the fixed charge, the charge for energy consumed, and VAT (at 23% in 2017). The fixed charge depends on the type of supply contracted. For low-income consumers there is a social rate. Most consumers contract the standard rate. Those that have over 60kWh (see below “Saving energy costs) night consumption may opt for the night rate. More information about this option further on. You will also find in your bill an amount for “Taxa audio-visual” this is the substitute for the TV and radio licence that existed in Portugal many years ago and still exists in many countries, but because this is included in your electric bill it is for everyone to pay regardless of whether or not you have a TV or a radio. The only exemptions to this tax are the electricity bills for agricultural and industrial purposes. From January 2006 the electricity bills have suffered a change, you can now choose from a bill every 2 months or a monthly bill of a set. EDP will, in both cases, read the meters every 6 months. If you choose the 2 month invoice, you may send your readings and receive an accurate bill The VAT rate for electricity is 23%. How to request a new domestic supply You can request a new domestic supply by phone, through the Internet or at the local office of your electricity provider, if there is one near you. These offices normally have a wide range of information brochures so they are worth a visit. You will need the following documentation:  Proof of your identity: Identity card (Cartão do Cidadão) or Residência, Tax Registration Card (Cartão de Contribuinte), or Passport. Note: you will always need your passport if you hold a residencia Certificate (without picture).  Proof of legal occupation of the premises, such as land-tax registration (Caderneta Predial), rental agreement, or purchase contract (Escritura de Compra). Nr. U01/E ELECTRICITY Version 1/2020 Date: 14/02/2020 U01E – Electricity 2 de 4 For new premises you will also need to provide the plans provided by a certified electrician as well as his certificate of installation, the occupation approval (Licença de Habitação), a map showing the location of the premises and a summary of the circuits (ficha electrotécnica). Normally the builder or the builder’s electrician provide all this and ensure the connection. You will also need to decide:  Which tariff you require (social, standard, or night-rate) and the periodicity of your bills.  What capacity you will need. This depends on the equipment you will use. For a modern household you will normally need at least 6,900KVA, but with the full-range of equipment even 10,350KVA may not be sufficient. The highest normal domestic capacity is 19.8 KVA.  Whether the installation should be single-phase or three-phase.  How you are going to pay the bills. You have the option to pay by direct debit or receive the bill and pay later. There Is also the choice for a monthly bill or a 2 month bill. The first step is the request for the connection and installation of the meter (a baixada). If power cables are close to the house this normally takes only a few days. Once this is complete the company will draw up a contract and you will be asked to sign the original. A small charge will be added to the first invoice to cover handling and legal costs incurred. How to change the name on the contract The procedure is similar but requires fewer documents than the connection of new premises. Methods of payment You may pay your electricity bill by Direct Debit bank transfer, Multibanco, cash or cheque. If you choose to pay by Direct Debit, you should receive the invoice before your account is debited, giving time for you to check the amounts and to contact your provider if a correction is needed. If you wish to pay by direct debit contact your local electricity provider’s office or telephone their free-phone number. To pay by Multibanco, choose the option “Pagamento de Serviços”, and enter in the numbers identifying the organisation (Entidade), the invoice reference (Referência), and the amount in Euros (Montante). These numbers are bottom of the invoice. Local EDP offices and Post Offices will accept payments in cash or cheque. You may also send cheques by post. When paying by cheque you should write the location code (número de identificação do local) on the back. This code is given at the top of your invoice. EDP Estimated bills EDP only reads the electricity meters occasionally, normally every six months. Most bills are therefore estimates based on previous consumption. Often estimates are much lower than the real consumption. When this occurs the correction is made following the next meter reading. This can result in a sudden very high bill. There are two ways to avoid such an unpleasant surprise. Firstly, you can opt for EDP’s scheme for constant monthly payments, Conta Certa EdP. Under this scheme you pay the same value each month for 11 months, based on estimates of your previous consumption. At the 12th month, EDP reads the meter and corrects the bill. If you have overpaid they U01E – Electricity 3 de 4 deposit the money in your account. If you owe EDP the amount is added to you bill. This means that your 12th bill of the year will include the balance for the year. Alternatively, you can read the meter yourself and call the free phone number indicated on your bill. Follow the recorded instructions (only in Portuguese) and key in the information requested using the phone buttons. The recorded instructions will require the “Codigo de identificação do local” and the meter reading. You do not have to speak. This is both accurate and efficient, once you have done it once (maybe with the help of a Portuguese speaker) you should be able to do it all the time. Saving on energy costs You can make significant savings by opting for a Bi- Horário or tri-horario meter. The unit cost of energy at economy (vazio) is a reduced rate in comparison to the standard rate. However, the rental of a night meter is slightly more expensive. If you have a 3,450 KVA installation, you will need to use at least 70kWh per month. You can make an option between a daily cycle or a weekly cycle. New providers You can change your energy provider at anytime now, there is no deadline anymore, however those still using EDP Universal will see their electricity unit price rising every 3 months. Economically vulnerable clients (eligible to benefit from the social tariff) shall retain the right to continue to be provided by EDP Universal Service. At the moment the energy companies operating in Portugal are several and are listed at the end of this bulletin. People should compare prices and conditions before making a decision. In the December 2014 edition of UPDATE we reminded Members of the deadlines to change to a new electricity provider; however since then the government has removed these deadlines. If your electricity supply is provided by EDP UNIVERSAL you will still have to change to one of the providers in the open market, but at the moment there is now no deadline for you to do so. However, the prices for EDP Universal are going to be increased every 3 months and this will gradually encourage consumers to move from EDP Universal to one of the other providers. afpop has put together a list of providers in the open market. Please note that unlike EDP Comercial and Galp, the majority of these providers do not have offices in the Algarve. This does not mean they are not reliable, but if you prefer to go to an office and speak to someone in person, you should know that with some of the providers this is not possible. You can use the information below to enquire with each of the companies about their offers and prices and you can also do a simulation on the ERSE (Entidade Reguladora dos Serviços Energéticos) website www.erse.pt. List of providers and their contact details: EDP Comercial Telef. nacional: 808 535 353 Telef. internacional: +351 211 585 350 Fax: 210 015 491 E-Mail : servicoaocliente@edp.pt Web: www.energia.edp.pt Galp Telef.: 808 507 500 Fax: 210 039 182 E-Mail: galpon@galpenergia.com Web: www.galpon.pt Endesa – Endesa Energia Sucursal Portugal Telef.: (Linha Gratuita): 800 101 030 Fax: 707 201 256 E-Mail: info@endesa.pt Web: www.endesa.pt Iberdrola Generación Telef.: 808 50 20 50 U01E – Electricity 4 de 4 Web: www.iberdrola.pt Union Fenosa Comercial Linha de Apoio ao Cliente: 808 303 132 Telef: +351 220 130 120 Fax: +351 220 130 121 E-Mail: servico.clientes@gasnatural.com Web: www.gasnaturalfenosa.pt Enat – Energias Naturais, Lda. Telef.: 272 089 333 E-Mail: eletricidade@enat.pt Web: www.enat.pt ENFORCESCO, SA Apoio Comercial: Telef: 808 918 499 E-Mail Comercial Particulares: comercial.particulares@ylce.pt Web: www.ylce.pt GOLD ENERGY Atendimento comercial : 808 205 005 Telef.: +351 259 348 634 Fax.: +351 259 348 635 E-Mail: cmatias@goldenergy.pt Web: www.goldenergy.pt HEN - Serviços Energéticos, Lda. Telef.: +351 271 023 041 E-Mail: energia@hen.pt Web: www.hen.pt Iberdrola logo LUZBOA - Comercialização de Energia, Lda. Telefone: +351 232 099 652 E-Mail: apoiocliente@luzboa.pt Web: www.luzboa.pt To help you choose your electricity provider, ERSE, the energy authority in Portugal has launched a simulator on their website www.erse.pt. With this simulator, you can enter the details from your electricity invoice and the prices from all the providers for that exact consumption will be displayed. You will be able to see how much you would pay for a similar invoice from each of the providers. To access this simulator on www.erse.pt you simply choose from the left-hand side menu “Simuladores” and then the first simulator in the window “Simulador de Preços de Energia Elétrica”. In the simulator you choose “Minha factura” and enter your details as requested. This simulator is available only in Portuguese.

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