Utilities and Services
When looking at apartments, it is important to ask the landlord exactly what utilities are included in the rent. Heat, water, sewer and trash are often paid for, but not always. You will, at minimum, be expected to pay your own electric bill. You will also be on your own for services such as TV, internet, and phone, unless you are in a student housing community which often provide TV and internet for their residents.
Minneapolis is currently in the process of making wireless internet available for all 59 square miles of the city. Portions of the city, including most of downtown and the University area, are already up and running. If your computer is equipped with a wireless card, you should be able to pick up this internet as long as you are in one of the completed areas. To access the internet via the Minneapolis wireless network, you must set up an account. Prices range monthly from $17.95 to $35.95 depending on your choice of Mbps downloading speed and the length of your contract. Visit http://www.wirelessminneapolis.org/ for further information.
One of the first things you need to do when you move in to a new apartment is call Excel Energy to get the electric bill in your name. You can also start, stop, and transfer your service online.
DirecTV is a direct broadcast satellite service which uses a dish that needs to somehow be attached to your residence. If you have a house, it is usually attached to the roof. If you live in a large apartment complex and have a balcony, they can also be attached, but remember that you need to have a clear view of the southern sky. If your balcony faces another direction, or if you live in a balcony-less apartment, it likely won't be an option, and you will need to look into cable options for your television service. Keep in mind that if you are renting your home or apartment, you will need to get permission from the landlord or management company to have a dish installed.
Dish Network is also a direct broadcast satellite service that uses a dish, so the same stipulations apply as for DirecTV. They offer different packages and features from DirecTV, so you should be sure to thoroughly check out both services if you are planning on getting satellite TV.
CenturyLink is the primary provider of local phone service in the Twin Cities. They also offer long-distance as well as high-speed internet, digital TV, and wireless phone services. They have various package deals for those who want to keep all their services with one company. This can work out to be a good deal, but make sure to carefully price the cost of using a few different companies for the services you need. There’s no sense paying the extra money for a package including digital TV, for example, if you don’t expect to be home very often to watch it, or a wireless phone service if you already use a national provider.
- For local phone service: 612-235-4504
- For information on other services, check out their website or call the number above and ask for the appropriate department.
Xfinity offers high-speed internet, digital cable with DVR, and digital voice, which is a home-phone service with unlimited local and long distance calling. You are able to purchase the services individually, or you can choose a bundle package that could potentially save you money.
Earthlink offers both dial-up and high-speed internet, satellite TV with DVR, cable television, and home phone service. Satellite TV can be trickier than cable, as you need to have a clear view of the southern sky, as well as permission from the management to put up the dish if you live in an apartment.
Vonage uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. If you have a broadband connection (such as cable or DSL) you can set up home phone service through Vonage using the same line. Like cell phones, you choose a package with a set amount of minutes for local and long-distance calling. Keep in mind Vonage does not provide broadband service —you will need to acquire that from another provider such as Earthlink or Xfinity.