If planning to rent in Taiwan, it’s almost certain that electricity, water and gas will be hooked up and ready to use before moving in. Tenants will start to pay from the first moment they use any utility. In Taipei, utility bills don't come every month but every two to three months depending on the utility company. Utility bills can be paid at any 7/11 convenience store, which are open 24 hours.
Water is usually already hooked up when one moves into an apartment. Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Taiwan. While the water itself is fine, the water pipes in most cities and towns are old and cracked, which can result in heavy metals getting into drinking water. This can cause health problems with continued use. However, Taiwan’s water is fine for washing, showering and cooking and water use tends to be inexpensive.
Taiwan uses natural gas or propane for cooking and heating water. Efficient, space-saving systems are in place to heat water so expats will never have to pay for a heated water tank. CPC is the main provider of natural gas. Monthly fees are inexpensive for connected gas lines. In older and more remote areas where natural gas lines aren’t available, local propane sellers can deliver gas to one's home.
Electricity is relatively inexpensive and is billed every two months. Rates do vary depending on the season. During the cool, wet winter, expect a very low rate. In summer, one will have no choice but to run air conditioning and fans, so expect larger bills.
Taiwan is mostly situated in a sub-tropical climate, so heating systems aren’t built into the majority of homes. Space heaters are widely available and work off of electricity to take the chill out of the air in winter. Humidifiers are more expensive, but also help to remove the ambient moisture and warm up living spaces.
Refuse is required by law to be separated according to different recyclable materials e.g. plastic, glass, paper, cans. Some apartment blocks have a communal area where refuse can be left at any time and is collected by refuse trucks. However, if one does not have such an area, residents are required to personally take out refuse when the trucks come around and throw rubbish bags into the truck themselves. Trucks service different neighbourhoods on specific days and times.
Are you an expat living in Taipei?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Taipei. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Ryan Campbell hails from Toronto, Canada. After getting his journalism degree, he worked in radio and television as a reporter/newscaster. Within a couple of years, Ryan was bitten by the travel bug and set his sights on Asia. For the last seven years, Ryan has worked as a freelance editor and graphic designer based in Taipei. He enjoys the fast-paced life of Asian cities, and the interesting challenges and opportunities that being an expat presents. Cavorter, caperer, and general online schmoozer, Ryan is happy to be in the arms of sweet Lady Asia, where he co-blogs about his experiences and is always happy to help his fellow expats.
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