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Utility costs in Colombia

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fecherklyn
3/18/2017 20:25 EST

I wonder if the following information may interest some of you as this forum receives frequent queries about the cost of living in Colombia.

The costs I have targeted are limited to standard utility services in Medellin, but they should be fairly representative for most of us and Colombia as a whole. These utilities comprise:

EPM SERVICES IN MEDELLIN:
Acueducto (Water), Alcantarillado (Sewerage), Energia (Electricity), Gas, & Otras (including waste disposal)

UNE SERVICES IN MEDELLIN:
Telephone, Internet & Cable TV.

Data on the cost of these services is easy for me as I have maintained them on computerized budget schedule since I arrived here in Medellin 14 years ago. Here is a summary of what I have found:

My latest EPM & UNE invoices (32 dias, 21 enero al 21 feb) amount @ COP 743,853, including “contribuciones” of COP 123,167 and IVA (VAT) of COP 39,381. Thus a total tax burden of COP 162,548 - the equivalent of a rate of 28% on the pretax unit costs.

For comparative purposes, my identical invoices in June 2003 amounted to COP 372,841. On this basis, there has been a 99.5% overall increase over these 14 years which is very respectable when compared with the Colombian Consumer Price ratios. However, when analyzed further it is evident the great majority of these increases stems from the Electricity and Gas sectors and with the Phone and internet services posting very modest cost increases.

It should be noted my utility costs are constructed on Estrato 6 rates, the highest in Medellin which carry a “Contribucion” cost towards a subvention of the utility costs of persons living in Estrato 1 to 3 areas. This is effectively a (sur)tax that could otherwise be incorporated in other national taxes.

If anyone has any comments or queries on these figures, I will be happy to try to satisfy them.

bigjailerman
3/18/2017 20:41 EST

Monteria, 4 bedroom home- Estrada 3

Caribe Electric, using 110 voltage 12000 BTU using most nights and sometimes during day is 400,000 - 450,000 depending on 28 or 31 day billing period.

Proactive water bill- 28,000 pier month on average

Claro cable, telephone and "high speed" internet- 145,000

Gas- 36,000

Claro Cell phone- 2 lines, 5gb, unlimited calls and texting 58,000 each for a total 116,000.

All above includes taxes.


My Barranquilla bills are very comparable.

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cccmedia
3/18/2017 20:47 EST

Does that mean we double the charge because you live part-time in two different cities, Biggie?

bigjailerman
3/18/2017 20:51 EST

I've been renting to family in Barranquilla, I still pay the utility bills in my wifes name. Just want to make sure it gets paid lol. So both are full costs, double as you stated.

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