±JOIN OUR FREE NEWSLETTER
±Compare Expat Providers
±Expat Focus Partners
±Latest Financial Articles
· Brexit Update: How to Navigate Your Money Transfers Around Political Change
· A Closer Look At Europe – Some Of The Best Cities To Move To In 2018
· Expat Focus Financial Update June 2018
· Expat Focus Financial Update May 2018
· Life Down Under – 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Living In Australia
· The Top 5 Things American Expats Need To Know When Filing US Taxes Abroad
· Expat Focus Financial Update April 2018
· Expat Focus Financial Update March 2018
· Moving Abroad, Before And After Brexit
±A - Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Our monthly newsletter contains health and financial news, expat articles, social media recommendations and more.
±A - Join Our Community
±A - Read Our Guide
±A - Compare Quotes and Save
±A - Listen to the Podcast
±A - Expert Financial
±A - ExpatFocus Partners
ElectricityBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Panama - Electricity
The power supply in Panama is frequently interrupted, although if you live in an apartment building you will find that it may have its own generator to cover essentials such as lifts and air conditioning. A power cut can be anything from a few minutes to a few hours and it is very rare that a power cut will run into days, but it has been known. Rural areas will suffer far more from this than urban areas so many opt to generate their own electricity.
The pricing of your electricity bill is calculated on the area that you live in. If you are in an affluent area you may find that you are paying 3 or 4 times more than a colleague who lives in a poorer neighbourhood. If you are in a large house and you run air conditioning frequently your electricity bill can be as much as $200 a month, although most people pay much less than this as they only run appliances and air conditioning when they need them. Many people will pay an average of $30-40 per month. Those who are in the country on one of the retired persons programmes will be able to claim a discount as part of the terms of their visa.
In order to receive electricity you need to register with the supply company. In Panama this is an organisation which is overseen by the government called Union Fenosa. There is no choice of electricity providers although supplies to rural areas may be fed through a smaller distribution company. Signing up is simply a matter of calling them and giving them your details. As an expat you may find that you need to provide them with copies of ID papers such as your Panama ID card or passport and you will need to prove that you have the right to live in the property so a copy of your tenancy agreement would be helpful.
Union Fenosa is a Spanish company which is in operation throughout the world, although mainly in Spanish speaking countries. All the information needed to sign up can be found on the website along with contact details for the company. The company can be contacted during normal working hours and weekends.
Bills can be paid in a number of ways. It is now possible to pay bills online although many people are opting for a direct debit system simply because it is easier. Bills can also be paid over the counter at one of the electricity company’s outlets or at a bank. Accepted payment methods include cheque, cash and money transfer.
Non-payment of bills means that your supply will be cut off. Unlike most other countries you will probably not get any notice for this happening. The first you will know about it is when the crew arrive to terminate the power. The good news is that these crews are usually open to a little bribery so that you can stop the power cut off if you pay a little money to buy yourself some time to pay the bill. They do not have the right to force their way into your home and often you can stop the procedure by telling them that the bill has been paid online.
Homes in rural areas tend to generate electricity through the use of generators and solar panels. This is mainly due to the problems of getting mains electricity to these areas and this can provide a reliable service when those with mains electricity are experiencing power cuts. The rivers in certain areas are also suitable for building hydroelectric plants on a small scale. These are suitable for supplying a few hundred homes with electricity.
Read more about this country
Expat Health Insurance Partners
At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.
Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.