San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Ricans Are Amping It Down

In the wake of last year’s nationwide blackout and rising electric costs, Costa Ricans reduced their electricity use by 0.3 percent in the first three months of the year, the daily La Nación reported this week.

While that would appear to be only a small decrease in power use, it compares to a 3 percent increase over the same period last year, and a steady increase over the last decade. Energy consumption increases from year to year have averaged between 5 and 6 percent in recent years.

“It is very strange to see a decrease,” Salvador López, the director of Costa Rican Electricity Institute’s (ICE) Energy Control Center, told the daily.

Scant rainfall last year left the reservoirs feeding Costa Rica’s hydroelectric plants, which make up the majority of the country’s power grid, too low to meet demand.

The nation was taken by surprise by a countrywide blackout in April that was followed by weeks of power rationing that left entire regions in the dark for hours at a time.


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