Electricity, Water and Gas
Your new life in Hong Kong can’t start until you set up the basics in your new apartment.
Depending on where you live, one of two electricity companies will provide service.
CLP Power supplies services to Kowloon, the New Territories, Lantau, Cheung Chau and most of the outlying islands.
Hong Kong Electric provides services to Hong Kong Island, Ap Lei Chau and Lamma Island.
Potable water is supplied by the Hong Kong Water Supplies Department. There is a fee for this service, and you will be billed based on usage. Application for water supply and information on other services is available on the Water Supplies Department website. Please note that in most apartments, hot water normally requires turning on a switch.
Hong Kong homes, companies and industry rely on either town gas, pumped through a 3,600-kilometer network of pipes, or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) — with town gas accounting for roughly 88 percent of total consumption.
LPG, a clean-burning fuel, is used in Hong Kong homes primarily for kitchen stoves and ovens, and for water heaters in kitchens and bathrooms. The government is also actively promoting the use of LPG in vehicles to help alleviate air pollution. LPG bottles and tanks can be used outdoors for barbecues and to heat swimming pools.
Towngas supplies gas to homes, sells gas appliances and conducts cooking classes. Application for an account can be made via the Towngas service hotline at 2880 6988, or by visiting any of their customer centers. You will need to bring proof of your residential address. You may also apply online.
DSG Energy supplies gas to homes in Discovery Bay. Application for service can be made online or in person at their Discovery Bay showroom. Payment of a deposit and a connection fee is required for set-up of the service. Their shop is on the ground floor of Discovery Bay North Plaza.
Hong Kong has several free-to-air TV stations. These offer a selection of lifestyle, drama and documentary shows in Cantonese, English and Putonghua.
Watching local television channels is one way to improve your Cantonese and Putonghua listening and speaking skills. However, if you want to catch up on the latest American and international shows as well as catch up on sports events, then signing up for pay TV is a good investment.
Some streaming TV services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are available in Hong Kong; for others, like Disney Plus and Hulu, you’ll need to use a VPN. HBO Max is not currently available in Hong Kong but you can subscribe to HBO Asia and HBO Go through Now TV.
Fixed-line telephone services are often sold “bundled” together with a broadband connection and pay TV. Most of these companies also provide mobile phone service packages. Make sure to compare prices between companies before signing up with one. Be warned that many of these service contracts have long and inflexible contract periods, and breaking the agreement prior to its end date will incur hefty penalties. Also beware of sales pitches promising to provide coverage of key sporting events — which have a habit of evaporating just weeks before the opening bell.
Some companies offering “bundled” packages include:
- Hong Kong Broadband Network (myTV)
- Hong Kong Cable Television Limited (i-CABLE)
- PCCW (Now TV)
- 3 (Three)
- Birdie (no-contract plans using the SmarTone network)
- China Mobile
Aside from the local Chinese papers, there are three main English-language news sources in Hong Kong.
The South China Morning Post has the largest circulation and can be picked up at convenience stores and newsstands, or delivered to your home or office. SCMP.com dropped its free online model in favor of a paywall in 2020. The Standard is a free newspaper that is distributed at entrances to MTR stations as well as other places around the city. Hong Kong Free Press is a young but fast-growing online English-language news source that prides itself on its editorial independence. All three have downloadable apps on Google Play and the App Store.
The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and New York Times all have sizable bureaus in Hong Kong, as do Bloomberg News, CNN and Reuters. Nikkei Asia (formerly the Nikkei Asian Review) offers an English-language alternative to the local and global press, while there are a number of smaller, online news sources that are staking out a place for themselves, including: Coconuts Hong Kong, FactWire and Asia Sentinel. There is also an English-language government-funded radio station, RTHK, which has a useful website and app.