When opening up an account for any utility, you must provide proof of your identity (passport and residence permit or EU certificate of registration); proof of address (property deed or rental agreement signed and duly registered); and NIF (Portuguese tax number). You can either start a new contract with the provider or, in some cases, it is possible to transfer ownership of existing contracts (recommended in most cases). For this purpose, it will help to have a copy of a previous bill, as it contains useful information to identify contract, area and meters. Connection of utilities may take up to 15 days.
You may receive your utilities bills monthly or every two months. Some providers may offer you the option of a flat rate in advance, with regular adjustments. You can also choose to have your bill automatically debited from your bank account (débito direto).
Consumption is often estimated based on your previous bills. You may also communicate readings to the provider, on specific dates, via phone, email or Apps (when available). From time to time, an inspector will visit the premises to check the meter and you may need to be home, as some meters may be installed in the common areas of the building, or outside the house, and others inside the property. Your actual consumption, will then be noted and the following bill will be adjusted up or down from your estimated consumption.
Some providers may offer binding contracts (fidelização), meaning that you may be forced to keep your contract for minimum periods (e.g.: 2 years). These are very commonly accepted because rates are more competitive than with non-binding contracts. Exceptions to binding periods may apply in very special cases.
It is often mandatory to notify service providers of changes or termination of service in writing, even though some may consider recorded phone conversations valid for this purpose.
Utilities – Water
Hiring water supply services - the water supplier for the city is the municipal company Águas do Porto (Ph: + 351 225190800).
The documents needed to draw a contract are the deed of purchase and sale or the rental agreement, the citizen card (or identification card/passport) and taxpayer identification number.
This service may be hired through the following means:
- Digital Front Desk, which implies a previous registration in the website of Águas do Porto;
- Email address, sending the documents requested to firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Letter, sending the documents requested to Águas do Porto, located at Rua Barão de Nova Sintra, no. 285, 4300-367 Porto; and
- Several service stations, namely the head offices of the company (Rua Barão de Nova Sintra, 285), or at Gabinete do Munícipe, located at Praça General Humberto Delgado, nº 266.
Utilities – Energy (Gas and Electricity)
The gas & electricity supply market is liberalized in Portugal. Therefore, you must choose one of the companies operating in national territory. There are online simulators to assist determining the most appropriate companies for your profile, namely in terms of prices, such as the one you can find at the ERSE - the Energy Services Regulatory Authority.
Note: Gas supply is subject to preliminary and regular home inspections; in order to install or connect Gas, you first need to have water and electricity connected.
Utilities – Communication services (TV, phone, Internet)
The communication services market (TV, phone, Internet and postal services) is liberalized in Portugal. Therefore, you must choose one of the companies operating in national territory. For information purposes, please see below the suppliers with stores in Porto. There are also online simulators to assist determining the most appropriate companies for your profile, namely in terms of prices.