Prices for utilities are manageable in Malta, with Numbeo estimating that electricity, heating, water and gas will set you back €68 a month. Setting them up can be something of a hassle however. Here’s how to get started:
Although each is supplied by different companies, the same organisation, www.arms.com.mt, handles accounts for both. Be aware that they tend to be a bit bureaucratic and more often than not you would be required to physically go to their offices or download and submit a paper form, in order to process your request.
You must ensure that you are on a residential tariff for electricity or you will face bills of almost double. You also need to check that the right number of residents are listed on the account. Application forms for both can be found below.
To get hooked up, visit www.smartutilities.com.mt. Fill in the online form and either post it to ARMS Ltd, P.O. Box 63, Marsa MRS1000), or take it in to an ARMS Customer Service Centre. Expect to pay a deposit.
To get an estimate of your monthly bills, you can use the ARMS electricity bill calculator. You can also find electricity tariffs and water tariffs. Bills usually come every two months, with electricity and water on the same bill. Bills can be paid by direct debit set up with your local bank; online via credit card from their website; or paid at your local post office via cash or credit card.
If you’re renting, the likelihood is that the proprietor who you’re renting your property from will be paying these bills, which will be factored into the price of your monthly rent. Read more about renting property in Malta.
Local councils deal with waste removal and there are no taxes related to this. Waste Serve Malta has some useful information about what is collected, when and where, or you can visit your local council’s website.
Gas, in the form of propane cylinders, is used for heating and cooking in Malta. The main gas suppliers in Malta are:
You may obtain new service cylinders or obtain cylinder replacements from resellers at fixed service points. They usually have their own schedule, which you can get from their website. Liquigas also offer an online booking and delivery service.
A 15kg gas cylinder costs €19.50, which typically lasts two-three months if used for cooking only by a household of two people. You will find electric substitutes for heaters and cookers if you'd like to avoid purchasing gas.
Internet, TV and landline phone connections are usually straightforward. The key providers in Malta are Melita and GO; they both offer fast connections and ‘bundles’ which include internet, TV and phone. The regulator, Malta Communications Authority, provides advice on how to choose a provider and service plan. To set up an account you’ll need your e-residence card (a passport may do) and may require the landlord/lady’s permission (or at least a copy of the tenancy agreement) if you’re not a homeowner. An installation fee and a deposit are likely to be required, and these may be heftier if you don’t have an e-residence card. There is no longer a TV license fee in Malta.
For mobile phone connections, the options are Vodafone, Melita and GO, all of whom offer either ‘pay as you go’ or monthly plans. You can buy a sim card in a wide range of shops. To register for monthly plans, it’s probably easiest to go into a mobile phone shop. The cheapest options are around €20 a month but if you want data, international calls and other services, it will cost more. You may need a passport or e-residence card to sign up.
All service providers tend to provide their users with an online portal where you can view, manage and pay your bills.
Salaries might be lower than elsewhere, but there are some notable exceptions, such as the gaming industry. However, it is possible to live quite cheaply in Malta, so a skilled foreign worker will likely end up with as much, if not more, disposable income as they would in other countries, especially compared to much of Northern Europe. Check out the site salariesinmalta.com for a guide or read up more here.Who should I get a mobile phone contract with?
Vodafone, Melita and GO all offer either ‘pay as you go’ or monthly plans. You can buy a sim card in a wide range of shops. To register for monthly plans, it’s probably easiest to go into a mobile phone shop. The cheapest options are around €20 a month but if you want data, international calls and other services, it will cost more.Shall I rent or buy?
The Maltese tend to own their homes and mortgages are generally cheaper than renting in the long term. Don’t rush into buying until you understand the market though – renting when you first arrive will also help you to figure out the best place to live. Here's what you need to know about buying property in Malta.