Once your new home is completed it’s time to organise and connect your utilities, ensuring you will be truly comfortable in your new home.
At North Cove Estates we can help you sort out all the finer details before you arrive and put you in touch with the relevant authorities, but here’s a guide to what you need to know about connecting your utilities so you can ensure your home is ready for you once you decide to make the move.
In Northern Cyprus, the electricity supply is just like Britain’s so you can use all the same equipment you would use in the UK. It is 220-240 volts, with a frequency of 50 Hertz and yes, they use British three-pin plugs!
Once you are ready to connect your power you will need to complete a contract at your local electricity board office and pay for your connection and supply. To get both water and electricity connected will cost you approximately £500.
Electricity running costs in North Cyprus are similar to the rest of Europe countries and you either pay your bills monthly or you pay in advance.
Many UK expats also choose to buy either diesel or petrol generators in case of power cuts (which are not uncommon) and also to use power surge protectors for their more sensitive electrical goods to protect them from sudden surges and drops in supply.
Electricity is supplied by a company called Kibtek (Turkish Electricity Authority of Cyprus) and since 2015 a new style electric meter has been introduced to most properties in North Cyprus. You can find out more at their website: http://www.kibtek.com.
Naturally, for a country that enjoys over 300 days of sunshine a year, water is much scarcer here than in the UK, and in the past North, Cyprus water was not only scarce but generally unfit for drinking.
However, last year saw the completion of a project called “Barış Suyu” (Peace Water), an 80-kilometer-long undersea pipeline in the Mediterranean Sea transferring fresh water, from the Anamur-Alaköprü Dam, through the Anamurium Plant in southern Turkey to the Sea Transmission Line in northern Cyprus.
The good news for you is that this pipeline has helped reduce water shortages and improve water quality in some areas, but the quality and supply of drinking water is still extremely variable depending on where you have chosen to build. Tanker water is available if there are shortages in your local area.
Regardless of whether you have access to water from the pipeline, because all North Cyprus properties have metal or plastic holding tanks to store water you will need to fit a filtration system either during or after the building stage to ensure your tap water is fit to drink.
At present the water supply is run by the local council, so the village has its own supply and offices, and just like with the electricity supply, “smart” water meters have now been introduced. You will pay your water bills monthly at your local belediye, or district office, or you can pre-organise direct debit through your bank, or top up your water account with credit in advance if you are not going to be around to pay the bill on time.
If you are lucky enough to have a swimming pool at your new home be aware that pools can only be filled with tanker water because using mains water is illegal and will incur a heavy fine or the possibility of your water supply is cut off entirely.
Unlike the UK, bottled LPG gas is the most common form of gas supply. This is because it is extremely expensive to get mains gas connected in North Cyprus (at least £5000), so most people stick with the bottled variety.
There are many sizes and shapes of LPG gas bottles available, ranging from large ones for your kitchen through to small ones used for lamps in the eventuality of a power cut. Gas bottles are available for purchase from gas stations and supermarkets and you just simply swap your empty bottle for a full on.
You can also get gas delivered, especially if you have installed the larger tank in your back garden for the purposes of central heating. If you do decide to purchase a gas tank, you must lodge a permit application at your local district office, and it will probably take a couple of months for your application to be approved. The local fire brigade will also visit your property to assess the location of your tank and to ensure it complies with regulations.
Heating and cooling
Many UK expats who are unused to the Mediterranean climate of North Cyprus find that air conditioning is a welcome addition to their new build. Installing an air-conditioning system really makes a lot of sense because all systems now offer heating as well as cooling, thereby eliminating the need to get central heating installed as well.
If, however, you still want to install central heating, you can choose between either a gas or oil boiler and it is best to install central heating during property construction so you can hide all the pipework under your floorboards.
An open fire is another option that many expats and locals use for heating during winter.
Increasingly in North Cyprus, like everywhere in the world, residents are using their mobile service in preference to landlines. Most UK expats now use their mobile phones, computers (with Voice over Internet Protocol) or Skype to make their phone calls. Other options include purchasing phone cards from telephone offices and post offices to use the public phones.
However, if you prefer a good old-fashioned telephone system, you can still get a landline installed, but there is a lack of infrastructure and the service can be unreliable. The calling code for North Cyprus is 00 90, plus 392, and then the number you want to call.
If you have any further questions about installing any of these utilities or any other questions about making the move to your villa in the sun, then don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more.