Electricity and Gas
Find out how to get connected to electricity and gas suppliers in Costa Rica...
The Costa Rican Institute for Electricity, also known as Grupo ICE, (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, Fuerza y Luz Governmental) manages the electricity services in Costa Rica.
The country makes use of its abundant rainfall and sunshine, as well as its mountainous terrain to generate almost all of its own electricity through renewable sources such as hydroelectric power, geothermal power and solar and wind farms. The cost of electricity is relatively expensive, therefore, as a result of the country's investment in these renewable sources.
To set up an electricity connection, the following information should be taken to a local ICE office:
- Proof of identity
- Address for installation
- Residency visa (or some other form of ID that shows permission to live in Costa Rica)
- A list of general details about the home electricity system (how many electrical appliances will be in the house, number of lights, etc)
- Telephone number
- Signed copy of the Service Request (solicitud de servicio) form provided at the ICE office
Once the ICE office receives all of this information, they will set up the electrical connection within eight working days.
Electricity bills are delivered monthly and can be paid in several ways:
- In person: Payment can be made at any of the ICE agencies or in most grocery stores and banks. There are almost 500 places throughout the country where it is possible to pay electricity bills in person. For more details: Click here (in Spanish)
- Online: The ICE website allows users to pay their electricity bill through the online banking function of their Costa Rican bank. For more information and a list of the banks that facilitate automatic payment: Click here (in Spanish)
- Pre-pay (Pago anticipado): Permits the user to pay for the electricity bill ahead of time. ICE averages the bills of the past few months and sets up a prepaid payment system
- Automatic Payment (Pago automático de recibos eléctricos - PAR): ICE automatically debits the monthly amount from the customer's bank account. Banks can provide users with a form to set up this automatic payment
There are no public gas lines to supply residences or businesses, and most appliances are electric; however, propane tanks are available for gas stoves and grills. Each town has propane suppliers who can deliver the propane directly to the home.