United States vs. European Electricity:
USA: 110-120 Volts, 60 Hertz
Europe: 220-240 Volts, 50 Hertz
All government housing is equipped with both 110V and 220V electricity, therefore, your U.S. standard appliances and electronic equipment will be useable. In the local community, you will be provided with two transformers to convert the common 220V to 110V. Remember the 110V/60Hz is converted to 220V/50Hz, so whether you live on the Support Site or the local economy, clocks and timers will not be accurate. Surge protectors are strongly recommended to help protect your electronics.
Dual Voltage (& Hertz) Devices
If a device is dual voltage/hertz it only requires a simple plug adapter. If your device is dual voltage/hertz, its power source will be labeled: “110-240V, 50-60Hz”.
Lamps are the dual voltage exception. Lamps generally do not need to be dual voltage to work in Europe. Change your 110v lamp’s U.S. light bulb to a European bulb, add a plug adapter, plug in, and you’re done!
Adapter vs. Transformer
Plug adapter: Allows dual voltage electronics to fit into electrical outlet of host nation without voltage conversion. Just be sure the plug can handle the item’s wattage.
Transformer: Used to adjust voltage (not Hertz) for electronics with chips or circuit boards. It can be used continuously. Ensure the total wattage of items plugged in does not exceed the max wattage of the transformer. If living on the economy, housing will issue you two transformers.
When you live on the local economy, Italian companies will provide all of your utilities, including telephone service. The utilities vary according to the unit you choose. Information about the utility requirements and payments will be given to you during the house hunting process.
Your utilities and telephone will be set up when you sign your lease. The housing office will assist you through the installation process, but the housing office does not have control over the local utility or telephone companies. Appointments for installation will be arranged according to the utility company’s requirements. The service may not meet your expectations, and most newcomers obtain a mobile phone.
If at any time during your stay in Italy you have problems with your utilities or telephone, the Navy Exchange Residential Services Office can help you communicate with the company to resolve them.
Residential Services Office at the Navy Exchange
The Naples Navy Exchange (NEX) Residential Services Office offers quality of life services for residents living in Naples. Residential Services offers customers living on the economy tax-free electricity, phone and Internet contracts, plus home heating gas delivery and Culligan water home delivery.
Customers using the NEX Residential Services Office do not pay Italian taxes, resulting in up to 22 percent savings on utilities.
On-base residents are offered Internet service, Culligan water home delivery, and expanded TV service, which includes 30 Sky channels, plus pay-per-view and AFN.
Everyone can apply for a “Telepass” at the NEX Residential Services Office. This service, similar to Easy Pay or Easy Pass in the U.S., allows you to pay highway tolls electronically without stopping at a toll booth. This is a quick and time-saving way to travel on toll roads all over Italy. You pay later with your credit card or bank card.
Residential Services associates speak both English and Italian. Bills are in English and paid in U.S. dollars at the NEX. You may also request automatic billing.
Water, Sewage and Garbage Services
Most landlords keep these services in their names and figure them into your rent or parco fees. If you find a place where these are to be in your name, ask housing office personnel for assistance in billing procedures.
Be aware when looking for a house that a bottled water advisory is in effect for all U.S. personnel residing in the Campania region. Bottled water is provided by your landlord via a clause in your lease. Bottled water should be used for drinking, cooking, oral hygiene, pets, etc.
Also, check to see if the house you are interested in has a water reservoir and make sure the pump works. In the suburbs especially, the water pressure can get very low during summer days. A water reservoir will fill at night when there is pressure, and the pump will pump water from the reservoir when the pressure drops. If your house doesn’t have this arrangement, you could face long spells without water during the summer. Your lease agreement will state that your landlord is responsible for cleaning the reservoir every six months; it is incumbent upon the resident to hold the landlord to this requirement. If your landlord fails to comply with this clause, you can contact the Housing Office for assistance.
As many of the houses rented by Americans are in the suburbs, many have septic tanks instead of being connected to city sewers. Emptying the septic tank can be either the responsibility of the tenant or the landlord. This can be brought up at the housing office at your negotiation session. Make sure you know how to check the tank and who to call to have it emptied (usually the landlord will call the company he or she uses). You may want to have the landlord empty the tank before you sign your lease; this can be brought up at your lease pre-negotiation session.
Check to see where you should put your garbage and when the collection days are, as well as any limits on what can be collected. In single-family dwellings, you usually put the garbage just outside your gate. In apartment complexes, there is usually a dumpster or two nearby for you to use. Many towns have mandatory recycling and may require the use of specific bags. You may be subject to a fine if you do not comply with the towns trash/recycling requirements.
If you leave the garbage outside your gate, you should invest in a dog-proof container of some sort; otherwise, local dogs and cats can spread your garbage around.