Instead of focusing on being more efficient in its lines of business and stop generating losses, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) – state power utility –  will now focus on marketing kitchen electric induction templates (plantillas eléctricas in Spanish) for residential use.

Grupo Navar is the provider of the templates that ICE sells, and also markets other induction products on its own. Photo:

Without experience, with a limited supply and based on a successful experiment of several decades ago, ICE expects this month to begin the mass marketing.

The directors of ICE stated that after evaluating consumers’ purchasing intentions and conducting a financial and risk analysis, they concluded that the launch of the product in the Costa Rican market is justified.

Isabel Lopez, director of Commercial Management of the Distribution and Marketing Business, told that “… we started this process with a first product for the residential sector, offering induction technology as a new way of preparing food in a faster, more efficient, safer and cleaner way’.”

“The objective of ICE, rather than marketing, is to make new technologies known and produce a change in society,” said Isabel López.

López compared this initiative with the National Program for the Sale of Compact Fluorescent Lamps, which was developed between 1996 and 2003 that led to the introduction of lower consumption bulbs. That initiative was the initial impulse for this technology to be used today in most of the country’s homes.

ICE, through Grupo Navar, supplier and distributor for the appliances, will offer a rebate of ¢20,000 colones to ICE and CNFL (national power and light company) customers on their first purchase.

Customers with good credit can purchase the appliances, priced at ¢115,000 colones, with 0% interest financing for up to 6 months.

Another challenge that ICE will face is the number of available templates (1,300) and the reaction capacity it will have if that number is insufficient (or how it would solve an insufficient demand) for the potential sales.