Belize Electricity Comparison 2006 – 2019, Sandstorm and Sargasso Report

by tacogirl
Sargasso-in-Belize

Last week, I ran into Tamara Sniffin (owner of San Pedro Sun) and we got chatting as we walked. Both of us were in the same frame of mind – trying to stave off the use of airconditioning as long as we could. Many people practice being frugal in low season.

Of course, not long after that, it was particularly muggy and I decided to cave. In spite of being able to see the lagoon and sea in some places on this island, not all places get a good natural breeze. With my apartment, windows being at the east and west ends, makes for poor ventilation. At the front, it doors with a lockable screen option. I can’t have the front side open at night and due to the lack of side windows, it’s not always easy to get a good natural breeze.

After 3 years here, I have my electric use system down. When temperatures rise, I use the ceiling fan and air conditioner fan in my bedroom all the time and sometimes my standing fan. If I want to cool down I use the dry setting at 26°C. For other areas of the house, I keep ceiling fans on 24/7 and use airconditioner fan or dry setting as needed to cool the rooms. As for lights I rarely leave one on when I am not in the room. wifi extender, router, Tv, charging, laptop, phones, and tablets are my other power uses.

I went through my bill drawer and I pulled up several to give you a rough idea on cost in a given month and year. All prices listed are in Belize dollars. Note that the power has increased a few times during the 2006 – 2018 time period below, twice alone on the last year.

Moderately Priced May On Ambergris Caye?

May in Belize falls in mid-dry season and offers warmer days, this may we have had a few extremely windy ones too which canceled some water activities for safety reasons. Generally, daytime temps run around 82°F or 28°C and comfortable cooler nights of 74°F or 23°C. My May consumption has been moderately decreasing. I already know it will be on a bit of an upswing this month, it has been very hot.

May is also a great time to visit Belize because many businesses are offering low season pricing and generally you will experience fewer crowds. Although you can always get a good tacogirl vacation discount no matter when you come, there are some good new businesses signing up this year (a few of which are soon to be added).

Back to power consumption 😀

  • May 2008: 337 (kWh) $147.89 – second floor 1 bedroom apt in town, windows at back and front, the entrance had no screen door for a cross breeze.
  • May 2012: 236 (kWh) – $93.84 – 2 bedroom, upper duplex south of town, windows on all sides and a lockable screen door.
  • May 2016: 198 (kWh) $64.32 – current 2 bedroom, apt in town, windows front and back and lockable screen doors in front.

Costlier Hotter Months in Belize

August is typically one of our hotter months. Depending on where you opt to live definitely be prepared for the increase. As you can see from my bills below, this month has been steadily rising for me. Due to layout, my current apartment is definitely the most expensive for electric over my 13 years here. However, it is still worth it to me, because my apartment is such a great space. Temperatures in August range with highs of 86°F or 30°C to lows of 78°F or 26°C.

  • Aug 2009: 344 (kWh) $166.30 – 2 bedroom, ground floor apt south of town, windows front and back. The entrance had no screen door for a cross breeze.
  • Aug 2012: 271 (kWh) $109.24 – 2 bedroom, upper duplex south of town, windows on all sides and a lockable screen door.
  • Aug 2016: 343 (kWh) $126.20 – current ground floor 2 bedrooms, apt in town, windows in the back and lockable screen doors in front.
  • Aug 2017: 556 (kWh) $237.83 – current 2 bedroom apt in town,
    windows in the back and lockable screen doors in front.
  • Aug 2018: 579 (kWh) $262.89 – current 2 bedrooms apt in town,
    windows in the back and lockable screen doors in front.

September is also another hot month, also increasing rainfall, more so in early mornings and late night, with days being sunny and hot. Season closures are also common during August and September, while businesses do repairs to get ready for high season and give staff a break. September temperatures in Belize offer highs of 86°F or 30°C and lows of 77°F or 25°C. With an average around 81°F or 27°C. As you can see from my power bills consumption runs high here and definitely, a good location with lots of windows can help you save money.

  • Sept 2009: 344 (kWh) $166.30 – ground floor 2 bedroom apt south of town windows front and back. The entrance had no screen door for a cross breeze.
  • Sept 2012: 271 (kWh) $109.24 – 2 bedrooms, upper duplex, south of town, windows on all sides and a lockable screen door.
  • Sept 2016: 306 (kWh) $111.40 – current ground floor 2 bedrooms, apt in town, windows in the back and lockable screen doors in front.
  • Sept 2018: 627 (kWh) $285.57 – current ground floor 2 bedrooms apt in town, windows in the back and lockable screen doors in front.

Late Fall Weather Shows Steady Increase

I have always loved Halloween except for the fact that it was usually cold (in Canada) and the impending doom of winter weather was on its way. As you can see from my last couple of years bills, no fear of the cold in the month of October. There is nothing like a balmy tropical fall with daytime highs of around 84°F or 29°C and evening lows of 75°F or 24°C. By my electric bills, you can see it is getting balmier as the years go by – global warming is no joke.

  • Oct 2012: 218 (kWh) $85.92 – 2 bedrooms, upper duplex, south of town, windows on all sides and a lockable screen door.
  • Oct 2013: 293 (kWh) $106.20 – 2 bedrooms, upper duplex, south of town, windows on all sides and a lockable screen door.
  • Oct 2017: 488 (kWh) $207.23 – current ground floor 2 bedrooms apt in town, windows in the back and lockable screen doors front.
  • Oct 2018: 586 (kWh) $266.20 – current ground floor 2 bedrooms apt in town, windows in the back and lockable screen doors front.

Winter Ambergris Caye Belize

November temperatures range from a comfortable average of 76°F or 24°C, with daytime highs of 82°F or 28°C and night lows of 73°F or 23°C.
I have always loved winter in the tropics. As a kid, I was fortunate to escape snow over the years in favor of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Hawaii, and Florida. It definitely played a part in shaping my desire and quick decision to move to Ambergris Caye as an adult. Not loving the slow steady rise on my December power bill though. Still loving ditching snow for good.

  • Nov 2012: 195 (kWh) $75.95 – 2 bedrooms, upper duplex, south of town, windows on all sides and a lockable screen door.
  • Nov 2013: 270 (kWh) $129.40 – 2 bedrooms, upper duplex, south of town, windows on all sides and a lockable screen door.
  • Nov 2017: 423 (kWh) $177.97 – current ground floor 2 bedrooms apt in town, windows in the back and lockable screen doors front.
  • Nov 2018: 351 (kWh) $156.16 – current ground floor 2 bedrooms apt in town, windows in the back and lockable screen doors front.

There is nothing like being able to wear jeans and my polar fleece vest, hat and scarf to the boat parade in early December, and a cute sundress Christmas day. December in Belize offers great weather with highs of 80°F or 27°C and lows of 71°F or 22°C.

  • Dec 2013: 300 (kWh) $ 139.25 – 2 bedrooms, upper duplex, south of town, windows on all sides and a lockable screen door.
  • Dec 2016: 315 (kWh) $115.00 – current ground floor 2 bedrooms apt in town, windows in the back and lockable screen doors front.
  • Dec 2017: 384 (kWh) $160.43 – current ground floor 2 bedrooms apt in town, windows in the back and lockable screen doors front.

Who wouldn’t want to start the new year with sunshine and high of 80°F or 27°C and lows of 70°F or 21°C? My 2006 anniversary of moving to Belize falls on January 3rd, one happy day to be leaving winter. I had no idea at the time I would become a world-famous blogger and it would change my life forever in so many amazing ways. Thank you all for reading and supporting my blog through, using tacogirl discounts. It helps keep me bringing you all things Belize and pay the power bill ? which in January is on the increase again, largely due to my location and lack of windows on all sides. I still have a great love for this place and so do countless friends, it has given us so much pleasure over the last 3 years.

  • Jan 2011: 268 (kWh) $115.46
  • Jan 2017: 281 (kWh) $101.40 – current ground floor 2 bedrooms apt in town, windows in the back and lockable screen doors front.
  • Jan 2019: 299 (kWh) $136.74 – current ground floor 2 bedrooms apt in town, windows in the back and lockable screen doors front.

The average February temperatures in Belize run at a high 80°F or 27°C with lows around 70°F or 21°C. February is also a moderate month for power consumption at “club taco”.

  • Feb 2011: 244 (kWh) $104.18 – 2 bedrooms, upper duplex, south of town, windows on all sides and a lockable screen door.
  • Feb 2012: 205 (kWh) $81.08 – 2 bedrooms, upper duplex, south of town, windows on all sides and a lockable screen door.
  • Feb 2019: 320 (kWh) $147.38 – current ground floor 2 bedrooms apt in town, windows in the back and lockable screen doors front.

Lowest and Highest

Of the remaining 20 bills that did not make it to the lists above, I decided to select the lowest and the highest from the pile.

This dates back to Nov 2006 – first year living in Belize and first apartment in San Pedro town above the old Mickeys Restaurant on Middle St. It is for the month of September and clocked in at 21 (kWh) and $5.49. It was a trip to Mexico that had the bill so low that month. That was before I started blogging and my world changed forever. Generally our cheaper bills there were in the $50 range.

Now for the highest in the leftover pile – at 596 (kWh) and $255.83 July 2017 in my current apartment. I am still crossing my fingers to get on an end unit in this building for more windows and hopefully a second-floor view one day.

I hope this information has been useful for those who want to know the ins and outs of moving abroad. This gives you an idea of electricity over the years. If you are one of them, the following link will interest you too. Belize Electricity Limited 2019 Rate Schedule approved by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for social, residential, commercial, industrial and street light electricity rates in Belize.

Another Useful Number…

Huge shout out to all my readers, last year’s Code For a Cause total $6,398. In 2018 tacogirl blog readers used the flight code “horizon” and at no extra cost donated $3,199 to Belize Cancer Center serving countrywide and $3199 to the Blue Water Grill charity helping Ambergris Caye needs on a monthly basis. Both very worthy causes. Please click through on Blue Water Grill Community to see all the wonderful choices they made to help our island grow stronger. I am very grateful to all flight code users for helping support such a great effort. In the Cancer center health care link above, you will also find 15$ duty-free info including great prices at Premier.

Sandstorm and the Current State of Sargasso

Aside from the cost of living in Belize, another popular topic people want to know about is sargasso aka sargassum. but first duck and cover. This past Wednesday we experienced a sandstorm in Central Park. I went to get a featured image and help my friend Cindy also new co-owner of Shoots Alive pick-up their first order from the water taxi. We got pelted bad by sand, enough we had to make sure our glasses were on and just grin and bare the prickly feeling. Since I could not take a picture of flying sand, look at the palm trees for you to see just how strong the west wind it was.

Wed-Delivery-Shoots-Alive-San-Pedro-Belize

Now onto what everyone vacation planning wants to know, the unfortunate and current state of sargassum in Belize. The first two pictures were taken standing near the Sunbreeze Hotel and Blue Water Grill. That is Ramon’s Village dock palapa in the distance.

Sargassum In Belize

Kids step over it and pets step in it, often it, is hard to avoid, it is what it is. However, sargassum related health issues are still on the rise. Anyone with an autoimmune issue could be more susceptible to it affects. Some symptoms include labored breathing, nausea, itchy eyes.

San Pedro Belize
Ambergris Caye Beaches

I Know for a fact ( tinder ? ) that some of you are still unclear about the difference between seagrass and sargassum. I took this picture below to show you – true to form healthy grass is green even under water. While Sargasso floats on top with small rounded air bladders. To learn more you can read my article The Difference Between Sargasso and Seagrass.

Sargassum In Belize

One last shopping picture for anyone coming soon, it’s Mango season in Belize. All around town you will find whole or sliced mango for sale.

Shopping in San Pedro Town Ambergris Caye Belize

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2 comments

Carbunkle Trumpet June 3, 2019 - 7:59 pm

You are in luck, I found a place up here that we call can split. Of course I think the price of the brownstone is probably >15M

Reply
tacogirl June 22, 2019 - 10:12 am

And way to cold for half the year haha.

Reply

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