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20 years

Electric utilities must protect against lightning – or pay up


SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA – October 1st, 2012 – Has your TV, microwave oven, or computer ever suffered damage caused by lightning?


If so, you may file a complaint with ARESEP (Public Service Regulating Authority). In Costa Rica, the companies that offer electrical service are obligated to protect their systems against “acts of nature.”


According to the rules, the electric utility must reimburse clients for any such damage.


In Fatima, Heredia, a case like this occurred in June, in which the Public Service Company of Heredia (ESPH, in Spanish), was forced to reimburse 20 clients for damage caused by lightning.


However, another electric utility, CNFL, says that most complaints filed by its clients are found to be caused by faulty electrical installations.


The electric companies recommend revising all circuits and installations, as well as having surge protectors in order to protect your household electrical appliances.


However, if you believe that damage to any of your appliances was the fault of the electric utility, you are encouraged to file a complaint with ARESP and seek compensation.

ARESP’s contact information can be found on their web site.  


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