Now that you’ve finished moving and started to settle into your new Vancouver residence, its time to start making some final preparations before you can call your new place home. One of the first things you should do is figure out what companies you want to arrange to get your utilities through. In Vancouver, most residents use either Shaw or Telus for their telecommunication needs. As is the case in most parts of Canada, the options for service providers are somewhat limited, since only a handful of companies own and manage the telecommunication infrastructure across the country. If you are willing to do a little shopping around however, there are some 2nd-tier service providers that can offer internet, home phone and cable television for a lower monthly fee.
Internet, Cable and Home Phone
As we mentioned, there are two major telecommunication companies that provide service to virtually all areas of Vancouver. If you choose either Shaw or Telus as your Internet service provider (ISP), you will likely get the added option of bundling all of your utilities to save on every monthly bill. This means they will offer you a home phone line, cable TV and Internet at a discounted rate in a package. If you would prefer to only get internet, then you might want to consider a 2nd-tier ISP like Teksavvy, CIKTel, Lightspeed or Uniserve. They offer cheaper monthly rates compared to Telus or Shaw, but there are a few things to be aware of with these companies. First, you’ll have to pay more initially to purchase your modem outright (usually around $100). With Telus and Shaw, you simply rent your modem for an added fee on each monthly bill. Second, you should be aware of the fact that these companies still use the telecommunication infrastructure owned by the larger companies, and when problems occur, their customers come second in terms of priority for service provisioning issues. Usually you’ll have to wait about 24 hours before one of the 2nd-tier customer service reps contacts you.
Electricity and Hot Water Hydro Services
In Vancouver, along with the rest of British Columbia, everyone gets their power from BC Hydro. Once you’ve moved in you can quickly take over hydro payments for your new residence by contacting BC Hydro and setting up an account in your name. Also, if you’re new to the province, you may be a little surprised when you see your first hydro electricity bill. BC residents enjoy extremely low usage rates for power, so you can expect to see a lower rate for your hydro compared to anywhere you’ve lived before! Just another great little reason to love living in BC!
For more information about setting up utilities, be sure to contact the providers directly with any questions you may have. You can also try to negotiate a discounted price with one of the larger ISPs based on the lower rates you’ll find from the 2nd-tier companies. In some cases, new residents can secure a discount that lasts up to a year, so it never hurts to ask!