Santo Domingo is such a large city that I was told it couldn’t keep up with its electrical consumption which is why having electricity cycles through the city throughout the day. So no one has electricity (at least from the electrical company) all day long and no one notices it or at least it doesn’t stop or slow down anyone in the DR. Its a part of life, another thing to get used to.
One important question when moving to your new DR home is asking about the electricity in the area. Certain areas are known to have more constant electricity – close to government or close to hospitals but nothing is guaranteed. My dad told me, recently, that even if you move into a new sector that promises to have electricity all the time that eventually, as that sector grows and/or as time passes, you will have more power outages. Damn it, neighbors.
So people expect it to leave and because it has happened so much they have contingency plans already in place. They may have gas stoves (don’t trust anything electrical), avoid ironing or have an old iron with a cut cord to place on the stove (but no one needs to iron that desperately anymore and everyone understands if you didn’t iron), have a barrel of water inside the house or a big container (tinacom) on the roof full of water (gravity is all it needs), candles or a rechargeable light (previously charged), and they don’t shop to fill the refrigerator with food that may spoil. A true Dominican will shop every day for perishables and a couple other stuff like Coca-Cola (refresco) and like $10 pesos ($0.02USD)of ice.
There are other things that some have and you can easily buy but they are a little more expensive – UPS system or Inverter (Invesor). The UPS system I am told is a waste of money because it only holds a couple minutes of charge so that you can finish what you are doing or do one thing but the inverter is better. The inverter set up to your electrical system and is attached to batteries (you know like the ones in your car) it turns on automatically when the electricity goes off. I am told that it can be set to only power certain things like refrigerator and computer but I really think it’s that people just know to turn off the TV and everything else when using the inverter so that they don’t run out of electricity. The inverter and a battery can easily cost you $500. Since a lot of people live without it including me you may be able to do without it or maybe not.
I am considering getting an Invesor but I have been accustomed to live without electricity when I visited and the only thing I really needed was a fan at night to cool me off and keep the mosquitos away but there are other cheaper options -fan attached to a car battery (heaven) and/or a mosquito net. I was told you could buy the battery operated standard size fans (big ones) but I haven’t found it.
I almost forgot you can also buy a generator which can be found in any hardware (ferreteria) store or major store. They start at about $500USD without the needed fuel to make it work. I haven’t seen anyone with one here. I guess it may because those are kept outside while on.
Read my post on how to get electricity in the DR.
If you have anything you want to add please leave a comment.