Whether you are renting or buying a new home in San Miguel de Allende you likely have questions about utilities and what you need to do to set them up. Basic utilities everyone needs are electricity, gas, phone, internet, and water. If you are renting some of these are automatically set up for your home, but you may be responsible for arranging others.
Let’s take a look at renting a home first. When you rent a home in San Miguel de Allende you will almost always find the home has electricity and water accounts set up. Electricity is provided by Comisión Federal de Electricidad or CFE, and in San Miguel de Allende, water is provided by SAPASMA. The reason you won’t be responsible for creating accounts for these services is they need to be in the name of the homeowner and are important for proving ownership of the property to banks of government agencies. Though these accounts won’t be in your name, you may be responsible for paying the bills, but this is something negotiated with the landlord and can vary from property to property.
Internet and phone accounts are often up to you. Generally, your options for internet and phone in San Miguel are MegaCable or Telmex. Whichever company you choose will provide you with both a home phone and internet service. From my experience, both MegaCable and Telmex can provide good service and their prices are pretty competitive. If you discuss both options with your friends or acquaintances in San Miguel you will find some people prefer one or the other service for various reasons, and I’m told some areas receive better service from one or the other company.
If you are purchasing a home in San Miguel de Allende, then you will need to set up an account with CFE and SAPASMA. CFE is a federal company and opening an account requires you to prove your identity, that you own the property for which service is being set up, and you will need to show you are current with property taxes for the property. Many foreigners, especially if they don’t speak or read Spanish, seek help setting up their CFE account as you frequently won’t find anyone at the CFE office who speaks English, and even if they do, having someone with you who knows what they’re doing can save you a lot of time. Your CFE account is very important because you will be asked to provide a copy of your CFE bill to open a bank account (it proves residency), and the document is important when you buy or sell a house in San Miguel de Allende.
I’ll include more information in a future post about how and why your CFE bill is important when buying and selling real estate in a future post, but as always, don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have them.