Utility consumption charges such as heating, water, electricity and gas, as well as costs that are not incurred by the rented apartment alone but by the property as a whole, which is why they are shared by every apartment in the building. These extras include rubbish collection services, waste water, maintenance of lifts/elevators, where applicable, caretaker or cleaning costs, etc. Depending on whether you have rented your apartment inclusive or exclusive of service charges ("Warmmiete" or "Kaltmiete"), there will be some additional costs.
Before you rent the apartment, make sure that it is clear which charges are included if you rent “Warmmiete”. You can find more information on various costs in our posts Moving to Munich: Finding an Apartment, Moving to Munich: Important Terminology in Apartment Hunting. For the cost of power, water supply, etc., check out our post Moving to Munich: Cost of Living.
If these utility and service charges are not included in your "warm rent", you must contact a utility provider of your choice and register there. To do so, you need to have the up-to-date meter reading taken on the day you move in, which you can obtain from your landlord. Once you have registered, the provider will stipulate a monthly or quarterly charge, which is generally based on the previous tenant's average consumption. These charges consist of a base rate and actual consumption figures.
Another important point is that the monthly utility and service charge - especially for the long-term rental of unfurnished accommodation, but sometimes for furnished apartments as well – is a basic amount normally paid in advance and subsequently balanced with your actual consumption once a year, which may incur either additional payments or a refund. Usually you are going to need to pay more. As a rule of thumb, utility and service charges in Munich usually amount to €2 - 3 per square metre of rented space. Telephone and Internet charges and the Broadcasting Fee are usually not included in the utility and service charges and normally have to be paid extra.
When you move into the apartment there will be existing contracts for power supply, water, gas, etc. If you are staying longer, you might want to compare prices with other suppliers, or switch to green energy etc. You can find more detailed information about the various options and prices in English languge at swm.de, the website of the City of Munich’s utility supply company. Check24.de, verivox.de and preisvergleich.de are some of the sites at which you can compare prices for power and other utility charges. After you study them for few hours and make your choice, you might save the price of two Masses of beer a year.