Isn’t that just a wonderful picture? So todays blog is going to be about power outages in Costa Rica. Yes Virginia there is a power outage fairy living and loving Costa Rica. Why not it is a great place to live so the outage fairy came here as well. The truth be told my power went out more in the States in my little town of Westminster than it has here, but it does happen just as it happens everywhere in the world.
Some of the biggest reasons for power outages are Storms like the one in the picture above, high winds, fires, and last but not least upgrades. Costa Rica’s power infrastructure isn’t the best in the world. It isn’t the worst either. In the states the average cost per kw is 12.9 cents. Here in Costa Rica it is 32 cents. That is a huge difference. It is estimated that about 93% of their power comes from renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydro and such. So one would think it would be cheaper. So I looked into this. It seems from my research that Costa Rica owes the world bank a huge debt to maintain its current infrastructure. The price is what the price is. If you wish to come here and use A/C all the time you may want to rethink where you are going to live and the need for A/C. I was an A/C hog back in the states. I use to keep my thermostat set at 65 all year round. We never opened up our home and it was horrible, but I didn’t know that until I started to live here in the Central Valley where it is the perfect climate and I have no need for A/C. We like to say we live indoors, but outdoors at the same time. Its great! So back to my point.
During the rainy season we do get more outages than I would like, but they are quick and painless. I think the longest my power has been out due to some natural interference has been 6 hours. The shortest was 20 minutes. I do have to give them credit in that when it goes out rain, sun, or wind they are out trying to restore the power. I have seen them on poles in the pouring rain with lighting flashing all around trying to restore power. It is insane, but I want to thanks them for their service. Many people complain about the power outages. I look at them as natures way of telling me to unplug and go enjoy the day!
During the dry season it isn’t as bad. No rain and no lightning. There is however high winds and fires. So far this year I can only contribute one outage to fire and none to high winds. It was not out that long, but only because they had to get the fire under control 1st and then they could repair the electric. Which they did both very swiftly I might add.
The hardest part for me and the only reason I would even think about a generator here is when it goes out in the middle of the night. Back home it went out so many times I install a very large propane generator. I have a condition called sleep apnea. It is a condition which requires me to use a machine while I sleep to keep air flowing into my lungs so I get the proper amount of oxygen while I sleep. Now when the power goes out I no longer had the use of this machine. Back in the old country as a lot of expats like to call their originating country, I had to have a generator our power went out so many times and could be out for days. If I sleep without the machine it puts my life at risk from not breathing and my wife killing me from the snoring! 🙂 I am still thinking of adding a small battery backup system to keep my bedroom powered while I sleep so I live though the night and my wife doesn’t go to jail for murder. 🙂
So lets wrap this one up. If you are coming to Costa Rica either to live or to visit expect that you are going to have power outages. You can be thankful if you don’t get one while you are here, but know you might. If you are living here you will have them and electric is going to cost you. Make sure the house you buy its electrical systems is done well. Try to use as little as possible. It will save your pocketbook. So if the power does go out unplug, go outside and enjoy the day. When you return it will be back on no doubt and if it isn’t read a book, sit in the sun or breeze, meditate and just relax! All things will return to normal in time.