Electricity and Gas
Find out how to get connected to electricity and gas suppliers in Colombia...
Utility services in Colombia are supplied on a regional basis, with each company providing services in a specific region or municipality. Each municipality contracts a company in both rural and urban areas, to comply with the law, which states they are responsible for providing residents with the necessary utilities.
Utility bills in Colombia are calculated according to the estrato in which the property is located. The estratos are determined by the socioeconomic characteristics of specific areas. People in the lower estratos (one and two) pay the lowest rates, and the people in the higher estratos (five and six) pay a higher amount to subsidize the former.
The main public utility services are set up in buildings at the time of construction in the name of the owner of the property, usually the construction company; when a property is sold, contracts with the electricity, gas and water companies are transferred to the new owner’s name.
When renting a property, essential services are generally connected and provided at the time of rental, and depending on the conditions of the rental contract, they are either transferred to the tenant’s name or kept in the name of the owner or agency. However, it is still the responsibility of the tenant to pay the utility bills.
The procedure for getting connected varies between service providers, whether the person is buying or renting, and whether it is a new or old building. However, there are some common characteristics, in that the transfer can either be done by the person in whose name the contract is, or by the person who is taking over the contract. The documents generally required include:
- Photocopy of the ID of the owner or previous owner of the property
- Photocopy of the ID of the tenant or new tenant of the property
- Bank account number
- Certificado de Tradición y Libertad: Certificate available from the Notariado y Registro website (in Spanish) or directly at one of their offices, or at a CADEs or SuperCADEs if in Bogotá
- Form or letter requesting the transfer of the contract
Electricity and Gas Providers in Colombia
Some of the main utility companies are listed below (most websites are in Spanish only).
- CODENSA: Electricity supplier for Bogotá, with customer service points around the city
At: Carrera 13A Nº. 93-66, Zona Norte
Tel: 115 / (1) 7115115
- EPM: Electricity, water and gas services in Antioquia, Chocó and parts of Cauca
At: Carrera 58 Nº. 42-125, Medellín
Tel: 018000 522955
- EMCALI: Electricity and other utilities in the city of Cali
At: Avenida 2 Norte with Calle 10, Cali
Tel: (2) 8999999
Open: Monday to Friday: 08:00-17:00
- Electricaribe: Electricity company serving the Caribbean Region
At: Carrera 55 Nº. 72-109, Barranquilla
Tel: (5) 3611000
- Gas Natural Fenosa
Tel: 164 (Emergencies)
Customer Support Tel: (1) 3078121
- Gases de Occidente:
At: Centro Comercial Chipichape, Floor 3, Cali
Tel: 164 (Emergencies) / 018000 528888
- Surtigas: Gas Company providing services for the Caribbean region, with offices in Cartagena, Monteria and Sincelejo
Tel: 164 (Emergencies) / 018000 910164
Bills and Payment
Electricity and gas bills are issued monthly. Payment options for utilities are different depending on the company that provides the service and the region or city; however, most companies provide a choice of payment options including:
- Online payment: Most utility companies providers allow customers to pay their monthly bills online, either through the company’s own website, or through certain banks’ websites
- Banks and ATMs: Various banks in the country and ATMs, for example Servivanca ATMs, take payments for utility bills. It is not necessary to have an account with a bank in order to pay by cash or card for the utilities. Some banks also allow direct debits for payment of utilities
- Telephone payment: Payment for utilities can be made by telephone
- Stores, supermarkets and lottery stands: Large supermarket chains, drugstores and in general any commercial establishment that has Baloto (local lottery) machines, are able to take payments for utility bills nationwide
- CADEs: In Bogotá, CADEs and SuperCADEs are available for paying, transferring utility contracts, and dealing with the various services and queries with utility companies