If you live in Villaggio housing or in a government leased house, you won’t pay for any utilities. However, if you rent from an Italian landlord, you’ll set up (with the help of an interpreter from Housing) and pay for your utilities.
NOTE: Italian bills are sent about every 2 months. You may only have a week to pay once the bill arrives - watch your mailbox!
NOTE: Utility and internet set up fees can be fairly high, so save up for your initial utility and cable or internet installation fees.
Electricity Fee Schedule*
High Rate Time: 0800-1900, M-F
Low Rate Time: 1900-0800, M-F; Sat, Sun, Italian holidays
* Confirm fee schedule with your electricity provider.
Private Rental Electricity
Italian households have lower energy needs and their homes are often unable to handle high energy demands (e.g. dryer + dishwasher + microwave at once). However, a government-leased home or private rental must meet the minimum requirement of 4.0 kilowatts, but can range from 4.0-6.6kW. For about $300 you can increase the available kilowatts in your rental. The higher the kWs the greater the number of large appliances you can run at one time. But, be aware that a higher range of kWs can mean a higher fee for electricity. Ask your electricity provider.
SIGNING UP FOR ELECTRICITY
- Lease Signing: An interpreter from the Housing Office will take you to sign up for electricity. This appointment will be scheduled on the day you sign your lease agreement.
- Electric Appointment: An interpreter assists you in setting up your contract in-person with the electric company.
- Contract: About 10 days after signing up for electricity, you will get an initial bill and contract in the mail. You must take the contract to Housing and sign it. Housing will submit the contract on your behalf to the electric company.
NOTE: Be prepared to pay a contract fee and refundable deposit.
NOTE: If the interpreter has to bring multiple people to set up electric, you may want to drive to the electric company (very close to Caserma Ederle) so you can leave when you’re done.
NOTE: All electric customers are charged an Italian public tv license fee (“canone Rai”), about 100€/year in installments. If it’s on your bill, contact Housing to learn how to get a refund.
If you’re in a private rental, water bills are sent to your landlord usually. Pay this bill through your bank, not directly to the landlord. Keep receipts of all bill payments. If you haven’t received a water bill from your landlord, be sure to ask for a copy and pay it as soon as possible. Bills may arrive every 2-3 months or 6 months.
NOTE: Water in Italy is much harder than in the U.S.
Ask your landlord during your contract signing to recommend the best internet provider for your area.
Possible Providers (other options may be available)
ADSL: Tim, Wind, Vodafone, FastWeb, Trivenet, Infostrada
Satellite: Telemar, Open Skies
To sign up for internet at the Cell Phone Store on post, bring a codice fiscale, orders and passport to make your installation appointment as soon as you sign your housing contract. The average time to get an installation appointment is 2-4 weeks from your request. However, they are cancelled often. Once installed, internet can sometimes take 3-7 days to begin working.
NOTE: Sometimes off-post stores have cheaper deals. Take info to ACS’s translator for help with understandng plans.
Italian homes are heated either by natural gas, oil, or wood/pellet stoves. Most homes use radiators to heat each room while newer homes have heated floors.
Radiator TIP: Check for leaks! Leakage means low pressure in your radiators and high energy bills for you.
Oil TIP: If your home uses oil, find out when the best time of the year is to purchase your oil in bulk.
Billing TIP: If you think your heating bills will be very high, considering signing up in the Fall for the Utility Tax Exemption Program (UTEP) at TRO on Caserma Ederle to eliminate taxes on your home heating bill.
American Forces Network (AFN) Satellite TV: Free. AFN requires a satellite and cable box. A box is issued along with 1 transformer at the temporary furnishing warehouse behind the VPC Inspection warehouse. Negotiate dish installation/maintenance into your lease.
TKS Cable/Internet: This German company provides English language programming and billing. There is no VAT tax and no contract. Office is in same building as laundry services on Caserma Ederle (across from post office).
Sky (Italian) Cable: Great for Italian programming.
TAX RELIEF OFFICE (TRO)
Save BIG on home heating bills!
Utility Tax Exemption Program (UTEP)
If you live in a private rental and participate in UTEP, you are exempt from paying Italian taxes on your heating utilities and could save up to 48% on bills for:
- Methane gas (city gas): Most cost effective heating option
- Home heating oil (low-grade diesel): Highest cost of 3 heating options
- Liquid propane gas (GPL)
TRO is a Non-Appropriated Fund function and to enroll in UTEP, TRO requires a yearly service fee of $230. The annual fee is paid quarterly (Feb, May, Aug, Nov) and is prorated based on the quarter in which you join.
This program is beneficial if your home heating bills will total at least $550USD (before tax) for the year. Before you sign a lease, take the home’s address to TRO to look up the home’s past heating bills to estimate your energy costs and determine if you could benefit from UTEP.
Read about TRO programs in the “Useful Information” section or visit the Tax Relief Office at Caserma Ederle.
Save BIG on household purchases!
IVA Sales Tax Exemption Program
The IVA exemption program allows only Soldiers and Command Sponsored dependents stationed at USAG Italy to make tax-free purchases of household goods from participating retailers within Veneto and Tuscany. With this program, you don’t pay a 22% Value Added Tax (IVA)!
You can also get tax-free car parts or service for your POV from participating vendors. Show the vendor your car registration and they will handle the paperwork.
The minimum total purchase amount required to receive the IVA exemption is €150.00 at a single vendor. Participation in this program is voluntary for vendors.
Apply for a Tax Exempt Purchase (for household goods):
- Visit TRO for detailed instructions.
- Visit the retailer and get an estimate (“preventivo”) listing the cost of your items with and without IVA.
- Get a bank check for purchase amount without IVA.
- Take the preventivo and bank check to the TRO Office to fill out the IVA Exemption paperwork.
- Pay a $10 program fee to TRO.
- Take the sealed envelope with IVA Exemption docs and bank check to the retailer.
- Take your items home!