Practical Daily Life

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Supply of utilities like gas, electricity, cable, internet and water implies a contract and/or a formal contact between you as an individual user and the company. Although most supply will be established relatively fast, make sure to prepare well in advance before you arrive or move, to avoid not being served immediately. All markets have been opened up to competition and you have therefore more than one option to choose from, with the exception of the utility of water in the Brussels-Capital Region.
Several companies are active in Brussels and you can choose a different supplier for gas and electricity. Further information and answers on questions such as ‘How to choose a supplier?’, ‘What to do during a move?’, ‘Where to submit a complaint?’, ‘What about green power? can be found on the Brugel website, the regulator for the gas and electricity market in the Brussels-Capital Region.
 
First rule of thumb when you move in or out is to make sure not to forget to take down the meter number, the meter reading and the date of the reading. After that you will need to complete a form together with the new resident (of the place you are leaving) or the former resident (of the place you are moving into). The form can be downloaded from internet. 

Only one water company supplies the Brussels-Capital Region: HYDROBRU (Intercommunale Bruxelloise de Distribution des Eaux). Hydrobru is located 70 Rue aux Laines, 1000 Brussels, info@hydrobru.be, +32 (0)2 518 81 11 (only in case of emergency : +32 (0)2 739 52 11).

No visit of the representative of the water company is required unless it involves a newbuild home or in case the property has not been lived in for a long time (and the water was disconnected). In the latter case you will need to take an appointment with HYDROBRU.
Almost all of Belgium is served by cable televison. In Brussels, cable services are provided by different companies, each active in different municipalities. 
  • PROXIMUS serves all 19 municipalities. 
  • NUMERICABLE serves the municipalities of Anderlecht, City of Brussels (including the districts of Laeken, Haren and Neder-over-Heembeek), Molenbeek, Saint-Josse and Watermael-Boitsfort. 
  • VOO serves the municipalities of Ixelles, Uccle, Evere, Auderghem, Saint-Gilles and Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. 
  • TELENET serves the municipalities of Etterbeek, Ganshoren, Jette, Koekelberg, Schaerbeek, Berchem-Saint-Agathe and Forest. 
Satellite television is also available via Telesat
Numerous mobile and fixed line providers are active in Belgium.. Many providers offer interesting packages for TV, Internet and mobile. Consult the website www.mesfournisseurs.be and try to make a choice.

In Belgium the three principal telephone operators are ProximusMobistar and Base. On arrival you can buy a prepaid card which can then be recharged as required (10 – 15 – 20 euros from bank machines or on line via internet). The card is sold in all sales outlets of the main operators (Proximus, Mobistar and Base) as well as in retail chains and newsagents.

The telephone operators offer two types of contracts: fixed-term contracts and permanent or open-ended contracts. A permanent contract can always be terminated free of charge, at any time. With a fixed-term contract, you have to remain with the operator for a minimum period of six months. If you breach this contract during the first six months, the operator is entitled to charge you compensation for early termination of contract. The maximum compensation is the amount you would have paid if you had continued the contract to the end of the sixth month.