Water and electricity are privatized in Panama, but regulated by Government. Union Fenosa, the electricity company, provides the distribution in half of the capital extending towards the west and all the provinces up to the border with Costa Rica, and Elektra Noreste serves the other half of the capital on die east side and the provinces of Colon and Darien. To apply for electrical services you can call 323-7100.

In order to have your electricity set up you must bring the following documentation with you to the office:


Copy of passport for foreigners


Copy of Public Registry Certification, Lease Contract or domicile Certificate issued by the competent authority which credits legal possession of the building


Occupation permit issued by the Municipality’s Fire Department, when it’s a new building


Pay a deposit & connection fee


Power of Attorney if represented by someone else, with ID numbers of both

It will take 3 to 10 business days to install your electricity meter in a new home.

IDAAN (Institute of Aqueducts and National Sewers) is the only water provider in Panama. The main building is located in Via Brasil. (Tel: 523-8567/68). Most people live in apartments where there is communal water use and where the water is included in the levy, so there is no need to go and register separately with IDAAN. If, however, you choose to move into a freestanding house, the same procedure will have to be followed as with electricity.

LP Gas – most water heating and cooking in Panama is done with gas, because of the relatively high cost of electricity. If you move into a freestanding house, you will have to buy LP gas in individual tanks from stores or have it delivered. If you live in an apartment building there will normally be a gas line installed and the price of gas will be, as is the case with water, included in your monthly levy. 

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