Regular utilities and other service bills are usually distributed once a month. In apartment buildings, the meters are all grouped together in a single location and the building supervisor is responsible for providing access. The most common payment method for utilities services is through the bank – either in person, online, or by direct debit.
Gas is mostly sold by the tank (butiao) and is distributed by private companies. These trucks travel through the streets playing a distinctive tune from their PA systems to announce their presence. It is common practice to keep two tanks so there is always a back-up.
The price of gas varies depending upon the neighbourhood and distribution company, but the average cost is R$2.50/liter.
Brazil is one of the countries with the highest access to electricity in Latin America. The power sector in Brazil serves more than 50 million customers, which corresponds to about 97% of the country's households with reliable electricity.
Electricity prices for a household run around R$120 per month. This price can vary greatly depending on the access and amount of energy (like the use of an air conditioner) used.
The voltage in Brazil is 110 or 220 Voltz with both two and three-pin plugs. A universal adapter and converter kit is a useful tool if you are bringing appliances that are set to a different voltage.
To utilities are usually hooked up by the building management. Original or official copies of the Individual Taxpayer's Number (CPF) and proof of identity (Registro Nacional de Estrangeiro RNE) are required. For those moving into a house, a residence evaluation report must be presented. This includes information such as the type of meter and the number of outlets on the premises and can be undertaken by a privately-contracted electrician who can connect the house.
Access to piped water supply in Brazil is around 77 percent, with urban areas having a much higher percentage at 84 percent. However, the water is Brazil is mostly unpotable and most Brazilians filter their water before drinking. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has worked to improve this, especially for access to the poor, with a new Program for the Acceleration of Growth (PAC).
When moving into an apartment, arrange directly with the building supervisor for the water to be turned on. The bill is usually incorporated into the rental charge. For those moving into a house, the water and waste connection can be re-established and the name changed to the new customer on the monthly bill by calling the Sabesp Customer Services number. English- speaking operators are available upon request when telephoning Sabesp Customer Services.
The owner of the property can terminate the service. If you are renting a property, even if the bill comes in your name, it is up to the owner to cancel it.
Sabesp is the primary provider of water services.
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