In many urban areas of the Rhine Ruhr region it is possible to order power, gas and water all from the same company, very often publicly or semi-publicly owned. Slow but steady deregulation across Germany has also enabled online comparison and also individual pick and choose packaging of suppliers, especially electricity.
Waste disposal is treated separately, with competition relatively low. Recycling is traditionally very strong in Germany as a whole, with stores legally obliged to dispose of packaging if the customer so desires.
Expats can assume similar confusing utility tariffs as in other countries. Once the deal has been done, the commitment can be quite lengthy.