Meter Readings and Billings

Find out how to take a meter reading and pay utility bills in Brazil...

Utilities and other service bills are distributed once a month.

The telephone and electricity bills come by post, and expiry dates for payment can be pre-determined for a specific date each month that best suits the client.

The water bill is delivered by the person who comes to read the meter, which is always on about the same day each month. This date cannot be requested and will depend upon the route the operator follows.

In houses, the meters are usually accessible from the street, but if a meter is not, the owner or occupier is expected to have someone available on the day of the reading to allow the technician access. If the technician is not able to access the meter over a period of five consecutive months, a fine will be charged and the supply cut off.

In apartment buildings, the meters are all grouped together in a single location and the building supervisor is responsible for providing access.

Paying bills

The most common payment method for utilities services is through the bank – either in person, online, or by direct debit.

Due to the large number of operations which Brazilian banks handle, their lines are invariably long and time consuming. As a result, online banking has reached a very advanced level and bills can be paid quite simply by accessing the bank’s website and following the instructions in the Pagamento de Contas section.

However, doing this for every bill every month can also be time consuming, so more and more people choose to pay their bills by direct debit. This can be simply arranged for telephone and electricity bills by calling the relevant company’s customer services number to make arrangements, followed by authorisation procedures with the bank.

AES Eletropaulo along with most other utility providers offer a direct debit option via their websites.

It is possible to register for the service online and follow the instructions. It will then be necessary to contact the bank to arrange for the service to be started.