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electricity/water bills - domestic v residential

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electricity/water bills - domestic v residential

Postby gozomark » Fri 17 May 2013 00:40 GMT

Enemalta supplies electricity, WSC water. They are billed through ARMS, and there are two tariffs, residential and domestic. The domestic tariff is 30-50% higher, so its clearly better to be on the residential tariff. You can tell what tariff a residence is on by looking at the latest bill - if the number of residents is 0 its domestic, if 1 or more residential. The more residents shown the better.

Domestic tariff is for residences (and things like garages with a meter) where no resident of Malta lives as their primary dwelling. That means this rate is for 2nd homes, or for properties rented to, or owned by tourists. This is a contentious issue, and some foreigners believe its discriminatory against foreigners, whereas the government says its based on residency not citizenship, so is permitted under EU law. There is a court case pending to clarify if this discrimination is legal or not.

If you buy a property in Malta and its your primary home, and you get the new eResidency document (or have a still valid old residency certificate), you just need to fill in the ARMS form and all should be fine

If you rent property, then its somewhat harder. There are two options -
1. have the bills in your name, or
2. have them in your landlord's name, but for your residence to be accepted by ARMS.
Having the bills in your name means having to pay a deposit of around € 500 (whether you are Maltese or foreign), so most go for the 2nd option. Either option requires your landlords permission, so its something to discuss before signing a rental agreement. Some landlords wont agree as it puts them on the taxman's radar. In either case, you need to prove you are a resident of Malta, and the simplest way of that is by showing ARMS your new eResidency document (or have a still valid old residency certificate). ARMS have accepted other forms of proof, but its at their discretion.

[edit 30/11/2013 : http://gozonews.com/42497/no-differenti ... utilities/

ARMS have agreed to no longer require the eRsidency card for foreigners resident in Malta to get the lower residency rates :-)]
Last edited by gozomark on Sat 30 Nov 2013 10:45 GMT, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby john07900 » Mon 20 May 2013 14:33 GMT

Good post Mark
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Postby gozomark » Mon 20 May 2013 15:23 GMT

Thanks John. Took a bit of time over this emotive subject to try and keep a neutral stance :-)
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Postby john07900 » Mon 20 May 2013 15:31 GMT

Took a bit of time over this emotive subject


FT from me then!
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Postby Red » Mon 20 May 2013 20:44 GMT

Mark, you say that "ARMS have accepted other forms of proof, but it's at their discretion"

specifically, what other forms of proof?
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Postby gozomark » Mon 20 May 2013 20:52 GMT

I believe they have accepted employment contracts as an interim solution, but in the end its a residency certificate they wanted to see (now eResidency card), After all as its a legal requirement for a foreigner residing here to have one.
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Postby Red » Tue 21 May 2013 15:47 GMT

Thank you Mark, I totally agree, but what can a body do, while waiting for the eResidency card to arrive? If an employment contract is acceptable, why isn't the official Government of Malta receipt of application?

The mere fact that the receipt is issued bearing the applicant's full details including the newly issued ID number, means that everything required for the application has been supplied and accepted! It is not the applicant's fault that the officials in charge of manning and running the Maltese government departments are inept.

ARMS are just using the ineptitude to twist EU citizens once again. This is denying legitimate tax paying EU citizens their human rights and ultimately the Maltese Government should be held to account and heavily penalised by Brussels! This is the only thing Malta understands.
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Postby gozomark » Tue 21 May 2013 15:50 GMT

Red wrote:
The mere fact that the receipt is issued bearing the applicant's full details including the newly issued ID number, means that everything required for the application has been supplied and accepted!


supplied, but not confirmed as sufficient

Red wrote: It is not the applicant's fault that the officials in charge of manning and running the Maltese government departments are inept.

.


Its not ARMS' fault either


I believe that the class action against ARMS is wrongly targeted. It should be against the government, as its their fault the residency paperwork takes so long, not ARMS fault for asking for it.
Last edited by gozomark on Tue 21 May 2013 16:55 GMT, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby gozomark » Tue 21 May 2013 16:03 GMT

Red wrote: ultimately the Maltese Government should be held to account and heavily penalised by Brussels!


they won't though - they will be given a warning and told to sort it out, and as long as they do, there will be no penalty. What they need to sort out is the issuance of the eResidency cards.

ps Its perfectly legal under EU law to discriminate based on residency (as long as the benefits justify the costs) - thats how differential rates for Gozitan residents on the ferry are permitted - therefore I don't expect the two tier pricing on utilities to vanish.
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Postby Cuauhtli » Tue 21 May 2013 17:48 GMT

gozomark wrote:Its perfectly legal under EU law to discriminate based on residency


It shouldn't be though. That would mean that an EU businessman who travels to Malta to compete against local businesses would be placed at a disadvantage, ie. protectionism.
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Postby Red » Tue 21 May 2013 18:09 GMT

What you say may indeed be correct Mark, but that doesn't make it right or morally just. If it was reciprocated by the UK against Maltese citizens living the UK, there would be an EU wide hue and cry
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Postby gozomark » Tue 21 May 2013 18:09 GMT

Cuauhtli -you missed out the 2nd part of my sentence - Its perfectly legal under EU law to discriminate based on residency (as long as the benefits justify the costs)

this has to be proven to the EU if required, and is to be used in exceptional circumstances only
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Postby gozomark » Tue 21 May 2013 18:15 GMT

Red wrote:What you say may indeed be correct Mark, but that doesn't make it right or morally just.


agree - legality and morality are not the same
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Postby gozomark » Tue 21 May 2013 18:29 GMT

Cuauhtli wrote:
gozomark wrote:Its perfectly legal under EU law to discriminate based on residency


It shouldn't be though. That would mean that an EU businessman who travels to Malta to compete against local businesses would be placed at a disadvantage, ie. protectionism.


do you think its wrong for Gozo residents to pay less on the Gozo ferry than anyone else ?
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Postby Cuauhtli » Tue 21 May 2013 18:59 GMT

Didn't know there are different rates for the ferry but off the top of my head, can't think of any reason for a reduced rate.

My argument is simply that any discrimination, however small, which affects business and puts foreign businessmen at a disadvantage is surely not only immoral but also illegal according to EU law.
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