Sunday, January 22, 2006

Spanish bills

The system in Spain for paying utility bills and taxes is quite different to that in the UK. Having set up a direct debit the money is taken from your account and then sometime in the future you get a bill in the post. The bill, when it arrives, is of course in Spanish and can therefore be difficult to decipher.

Everyone on the estate had 80 euros taken from their bank accounts by the water company Aguaest. We all assumed that this was for the connection charge but apparently it may not be. Rumour has it that we all moved off builder’s water supplies in September but because no meters had been installed they couldn’t determine how much each bill should be.  The suggestion is that the total cost of water to the estate has therefore been divided by the number of houses giving each of us an equal bill. If that is true then the people who just have holiday homes here will not be best pleased to be subsidising those of us who are here permanently. We won’t know though until we get a bill.

In fact whenever people meet socially the main topic of conversation apart from the glorious weather and their recent illnesses are utility bills. Although the overall cost of living here is much cheaper than in England the cost of gas, electricity and water isn’t. A bill for 150 euros for electricity for two months has come as a  big shock for some people. So much so that most of the outside lights that used to be on when we were on builder’s supply are now turned off. Ah well that’s Brits for you.

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