(QCOSTARICA) Costa Rica’s beautiful climate and natural nature leave little to complain about, but no place is perfect and if there is one common complaint you’ll hear in Costa Rica it is the increasing rates for electricity.
Electricity rates in Costa Rica are calculated on a sliding scale based on consumption, meaning the more the use the higher rate you pay.
Recent increases have made it so use of many electrical devices and air conditioning are practically now considered luxury items.
So it is important that if you are a property owner in Costa Rica you consider some ways to cut down on your electricity and save some money.
Remember for North Americans, most of us are fairly spoiled with electricity consumption so a big step is simply being cautious and making sure to turn off devices and lights while not in use, but here are 5 tips to help keep your electricity costs down.
1. Turn off your hot water tank
If you are vacant from your property for an extended time be sure to turn off the breaker for your hot water tank. You might also consider switching to an on demand tank. These smaller tanks are much more efficient and usually provide plenty off hot water for most people.
2. Turn off your breakers.
Many property owners in Costa Rica are away for extended periods. Although your lights and electrical devices might be off, they can still consume electricity, so if you are away go ahead and turn the breaker off, just be sure to leave the fridge on or at least cleaned out.
3. Switch out your light bulbs.
Changing your light bulbs can make a big difference. Both LED and CFL bulbs tend to be the most efficient, the bulbs can be more expensive but usually save you in the long run.
4. Turn off your ceiling fans.
It’s good to air out your place while you are away, but don’t leave ceiling fans on forever. I think a lot of people are misinformed on how much electricity ceiling fans can consume, especially when they are left on all day long. Obviously if they are on because you are using them thats one thing, but if you leave your home for the day or are not in a bedroom, turn them off.
5. Make sure you air conditioner is getting cleaned and maintenanced regularly.
I know some people who go years without cleaning their AC, this just makes the unit work harder, costing you more, not to mention making it more likely that your AC will break down. Be sure to have it cleaned and checked every 6-8 months.
Article by David Karr
About the author
David Karr has been living in Costa Rica since 2005. One of Costa Rica’s most recommended realtors, he handles sales and rentals in the Jacó area on the central Pacific coast. Visit his website here.
Editor’s note: The local utilities typically have weekday, evening and weekend and holiday rates. Weekday, usually between 7am and 7pm are the most expensive. It is a good savings practice not to run dryers, irons and any other appliance that is heavy on consumption, best to wait until after 7pm or on weekends.
Use the comments section to tells how you save on electricity costs in Costa Rica.