The essentials to connect your new home to power, water, waste, tv, telephone and internet services and to purchase fuel for heating.
Utilities in Hamburg: electricity, heating, water, internet
Electricity, oil and gas
After you move into your new home or office, there’s lots to care take of. Electricity and gas are privatized in Germany. You can choose from a wide range of providers. The default provider is Hamburg Energie, but it’s simple and quick to change to a different provider, as most offer to unsubscribe you. Typically, you pay your utility expenses at a monthly rate. Overpayment is reimbursed or you will be notified if the monthly rate is too low. However, most of the correspondence nowadays happens online, so you can monitor your energy consumption easily.
Some older houses and office buildings (e.g. creative spaces) in Germany still have wood stoves, sometimes in addition to modern heating. They are fired by wood or briquettes, which can be bought at one of Germany’s many DIY markets or delivered to your door. If your house is heated by fuel oil, you need to monitor your consumption and, about two to three times a year, order oil from one of the many private providers in Hamburg.
Hamburg Wasser is responsible for your water supply. The tap water in Hamburg is perfectly drinkable. What else would you expect from the continent's first modern sewage system?
Usually, there is a fixed rate per qm and clients pay for their actual consumption and sewage.
Telephone and Internet
There is strong competition between telecom companies. Finding the best deal can be exhausting. It has been reported that for some of the more popular companies it can take up to six weeks to hook you up. In urgent cases, it might be best to choose the company that offers the fastest service. If you have more time, it can be helpful to check for special deals, such as international, weekend or evening rates. It's also worth noting that calling a cell phone is rather expensive, unless on the same network. Oh, and for some strange reason, cell phones in Germany are called 'Handy', pronounced English.
Cable television is often provided along with telephone and internet. Note that only PAL systems are able to receive German television.