San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

What Can Be Done About Electrical Outages?

Those of us living in La Garita are having a terrible problem. Every day, the electricity goes off. I have been keeping a log and just this past week recorded a total of nine and a half hours without electrical service. We complain, but it seems nothing is being done.

Julia González

La Garita, Alajuela

Electricity clients should first direct their complaints, in writing, to their service provider. Though the National Power and Light Company (CNFL) (221-5533) serves most Central Valley locations, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) services La Garita. To make complaints to ICE, call 441-1121 with your electrical receipt in hand, according to Alexander Quesada, customer service administrator.

If the regional ICE office doesn’t respond to your written complaint within 10 days, send a copy to the Comptroller of Electrical Services (220-5664, fax: 220-6443), or take it straight to the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP).

“We are like ICE’s mother, we scold them,” said ARESEP spokeswoman Carolina Mora. “They can’t do whatever they feel like.”

Mora said public service providers have 10 days to respond to complaints submitted in writing (be sure to keep a copy of your complaint). If you don’t get a response, contact ARESEP at 220-0102 or fax 290-2010. ARESEP accepts complaints in English or Spanish at the e-mail address, and complaint forms can be downloaded from the authority’s Web site:


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