Connect your utilities
To ensure everything is operational upon your arrival, you should begin the process of connecting your utilities before you take over your property.
Standard utilities in Switzerland are electricity and water services. Gas is rare in Switzerland. This is also the right time to set up TV, telecom and internet connections for your new home (this topic is dealt with in detail in Step 12), and to register for the compulsory TV and radio licence fees.
- Billag: TV and radio license fee (compulsory)
- Phone, internet, TV connection (see Step 12)
- Electricity connection
- Gas, water connection
Need to know
- Having the name of the previous tenant will be of great help to you while setting up your utilities
- For each new tenant, a new contract will be drafted with each required provider
- The Swiss energy market is privatized and regional. Most companies cover electricity, water services and, if applicable, gas, which is less common
- Electricity is almost never included in rental contracts
- Heating and other energy costs are almost never included in a rental contract for houses. They will however be included in most rental contracts for apartments
- Phone, internet and TV are almost never covered by rental contracts
- If an apartment/house is new or has remained empty for some time, certain lines may need to be re-connected at the incoming tenant‘s expense (e.g., phone line)
- Registration to Billag for TV and radio licence fees is compulsory for all households.
How to proceed
- During the lease signing process ask the agent to clarify which utilities are covered by the contract
- Define with the agent which third party providers they will inform of the change of tenant
- Ask for the names and contact details of third party providers currently providing services to the previous tenant and obtain the previous tenant's name to inform them of the change of tenant
- Call all the providers and inform them that you need to set up a contract with them and for services to be operational for your entry date. Provide previous tenant's name
- Ask provider to confirm that all required functionalities, (ie. internet speed and TV) are operational at your specific address.
- Make sure that the contracts and other appliances are sent to an address where your name is displayed on the mailbox
- Sign and return all the contracts in good time to avoid interruption of services
- If an electrician is required to reconnect the property, find an electrician using www.local.ch and plan to pay cash on the day of the service
- Call all providers 10 to 14 days prior to your apartment handover to ensure continuity of service. It is worth contacting a TV/telecom/internet provider at least 20 days prior to handover, if possible.
Where to find help
Relocation service providers can support you throughout these set-up processes. If you do not already have access to a professional relocation services provider through your employer, Hello Switzerland‘s free Relocation Helpline offers advice and support.
There are various TV, telephone and internet providers in Switzerland. They vary in scope of products, channels, speeds, prices, etc. Refer to Step 12 "TV, Telecom & Internet" for full details.
Swiss Relocation Helpline
- free advice from locals
Which providers do you need to call in your region?
How much does it cost
- There will be a one-off connection fee depending on the provider, ranging between CHF 45 and CHF 80
- If modifications are required the electrician will charge up to CHF 200 payable in cash on the spot
- Billag: TV and radio licence fees: CHF 451.10 / year (2015)