This was one question I had been asking myself when I moved to Bilbao for work. Moving from my country and landing in Spain was no easy feat for me. It didn’t take me long to find a small flat in the city centre, which did make life easier though. Arriving in a new town and starting over from zero was pretty complicated.
One of the first things I tried to do was contact other ex-pats like me, to find out how things worked in this city. People were friendly but I longed to speak my own language and meet people who had previously been in the same situation as I found myself in.
Luckily, through a waiter at a restaurant, I got in touch with a guy who had recently moved there. I immediately bombarded him with 1001 questions. One of these was how—once I was finally able to move into the flat that I had found —could I go about getting all the necessary paperwork done and services set up? One requirement was getting connected to each of the flat’s utilities: water, electricity, gas…This seemed like an impossible task.
But sometimes a good chat can make everything that had seemed so difficult to do that much easier. This guy told me about the utilities connection service at HolaBank. This service is for HolaBank customers (CaixaBank‘s banking service for foreigners). The next day I headed to one of their offices (there are plenty around the city) and asked to sign up as a customer in order to make use of the service. They would take care of all the admin and paperwork for me. They got me set up with water and electricity (as it was an old flat there was no gas to connect). It was so easy, I found myself doubting if it was true.
But yes, it was for real…and I was overjoyed. HolaBank and its HolaBankClub took care of one of the most complicated areas of setting up my life in Spain: connecting to utilities. So I am delighted to be able to recommend it to any foreigner who wants to save themself a great deal of time and a huge headache.