Electricity & Water
Electricity and water are controlled by one ministry in Bahrain, which is, the Ministry of Electricity & Water. Once you move into your new home your landlord should arrange for your electricity and water to be connected in your name. However, you may need to do this for yourself. If this is the case, arm yourself with your CPR card, several photos just in case, and a copy of your rental agreement, and take this to one of the Ministry’s offices. The easiest one to go to is next to the old Bahrain Chamber of Commerce Building and the National Bank of Bahrain Tower just off Government Avenue. You can park either in the main Bab Al Bahrain car park. Alternatively you can go to the Investors’ Centre in the Seef Mall. You need to go to the back suite of offices and there you will find a Ministry of Electricity & Water desk. Make sure that you have the exact address on your lease agreement. If in doubt ask your landlord for an address card. As an expatriate, you will be required to make a BD100 deposit to have your supply connected, but once you have done this you should be connected very quickly. The BD100 is refundable when you cancel your supply. If you move, you can transfer the deposit over to your new residence.
The electricity supply in Bahrain is 220/240volts and the sockets are identical to the three point British system, although any appliance you buy here is almost guaranteed to come with a two point plug. Adaptors are easy to come by in the local supermarkets. Your bill will vary tremendously depending on the season and how cool you like your home to be. If you have a large villa and like to keep your garden green, expect to pay over BD100 a month in water and electricity charges. There is a stepped scale to the charges, so the more you use the more expensive the rate.
Be aware that water can be more expensive than electricity, and with water being a scarce resource you may find you are visited by a Ministry official if your usage is deemed excessive. You are not advised to drink the tap water unless you live in Awali, but water bottled in five gallon containers are easily available from supermarkets and once you are settled you can have these delivered weekly to your house.
Only a few areas have access to mains gas but there are several companies which supply bottled gas. This is normally used for cooking and heating water. Bottled gas is reasonably priced and can be delivered directly to your home. A deposit is payable on the bottle then there is a small charge to have it refilled. As with the electricity connection, obtaining gas supplies is fairly quick as most companies are happy to supply at short notice but you should become familiar with the office opening hours to ensure that you are able to contact them.