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20 years

Despite high cost, Costa Rica’s electrical service is tops in the region

June 9th, 2014 ( Despite frequent complaints from residents and business leaders over its cost, Costa Rica leads Central America and is number two in all of Latin America in providing reliable electricity service to its residents, according to a recent ranking by the American Construction Industry Federation (ISEF).


The study analyzes the coverage and reliability of electric service throughout Latin America.


Costa Rica led the way in Central America, ranking 44th globally, compared with Panama (49th), Guatemala (53), El Salvador (80), Nicaragua (97) and Honduras (110).


Costa Rica even beat Latin America heavyweights Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, ranking #2 in Latin America overall, behind only Uruguay (ranked 43rd globally).


According to the study, Costa Rica has managed to provide 99% of its population with electricity, with a total installed capacity of 2,723.2 MW.


Of the total installed capacity, 62.4% of power is the result of hydroelectric generation.


Despite the seemingly positive news, business leaders continue to express their concerns over the high price of electricity in the country.


“[We] can’t complain about the level of service, but the price is the cause of concern,” said Juan Ramon Rivera, president of the Chamber of Industry.


A legislative subcommittee is currently analyzing legal reforms to encourage greater private-sector electric generation, which some lawmakers and business leaders believe will result in lower prices.


Drafts of the reforms are expected by next month.


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  • John Dungan

    Wow! If the reliability is so good in Costa Rica, then it must be really, really bad in the rest of Latin America. Not only did we find it to be extremely expensive and unreliable, but it was downright murder on our electrical and electronic devices. And, despite spikes which fried almost all of our electrical devices, ICE refused to accept responsibility for their poor performance. It was so bad that our grounding strap on a new (less than two years old) circuit breaker box had to be replaced at one point!

  • Chris Thomas

    Who in the heck comes up with this crap, electric goes out all the time, and if you call them to repair it they take a long time to do it. They also only have to provide electric to 4.5 million people other country have alot more population.

  • El Torito

    Thanks for our morning laugh. We were reading this story during another extended power outage!

    • Luis Diego Campos

      I wonder how you read the story during a power outrage.

  • Frank Castle

    My mother lives in the mountains above San Jose. Some of the power problems result from the thunderstorms that are quite common during the rainy season. Lightening and power transformers on poles don’t really get along well. I live in Virginia and we experience the same problem during severe thunderstorms here too. So, if you have thunderstorms in your area, unplug your valuable electronics like my mother does and they won’t get fried.

  • Aspensam

    ICE is one of the most hated organization in the country. It continues to build new office buildings, buy new cars, and add staffing because it has the ability to fleece the country. Its service is unreliable and expensive.

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