Regulation of electricity utilities – sales of power

Approval to sell power

What authorisations are required for the sale of power to customers and which authorities grant such approvals?

Only the eight distribution companies that have concessions over Costa Rica territory may sell electricity to domestic, commercial and industrial customers.

Power sales tariffs

Is there any tariff or other regulation regarding power sales?

Power sales have a tariff regulated by the ARESEP. The tariff for power sale is the same as the tariff for the distribution service.

Rates for wholesale of power

Who determines the rates for sales of wholesale power and what standard does that entity apply?

Wholesale power has a special tariff in Costa Rica for those industrial companies (cement, microchips, aluminium, glass) that require high electricity consumption and that are able to obtain electricity directly from the transmission networks.

These kinds of sales of power are not considered distribution sales, but are considered directly generation sales. The sole provider of this wholesale tariff is ICE.

The tariff for the wholesale of energy is also regulated by the ARESEP but not according to the cost of the energy because it must subsidise the price, for example, when the other generation tariffs go up the wholesale tariff does not rise. The wholesale price is currently between US$0.05 and US$0.06 during the day and US$0.04 during the night.

Public service obligations

To what extent are electricity utilities that sell power subject to public service obligations?

Electricity utilities are considered public services that are regulated from the economic and quality point of view.