Electricity

If you live in the states, you probably experience very little power outages.

Here in Sana’a, it can be a different story, but it really depends on where you live. In some areas the power goes off daily, sometimes twice or more. In some areas, it hardly ever goes off.  So, when looking for a place, you may want to ask what the electricity is like.

It’s really  just one of those things that you get used to over time.

In one area that I lived in, the electricity went off like clockwork—always after Maghrib. So you could basically adjust your schedule accordingly.–Get stuff done before Maghrib. And even then, it seemed like for months it would go off daily and then after that it was kind of sporadic. And then, it usually remained off for like about 1 – 1 1/2 hours so you could just about tell when it was about to come on and you could get on with your regular activities. A few times (masha Allah, only a few) the power went off for like 21-24 hours (yes, I was counting).

The main problem with the long outages is that you need electricity to run the water pumps. If your top of the roof tank was not full when the power went off for one of these long stints, well, you would be waterless (except what you stored). That’s one of the other benefits of cooking with gas tanks is that when the power goes off, you can still cook.

Just like storing water for water outages, its pretty simple to take measures to help you deal with power outages:

1. You can buy heavy duty flashlights that plug in and recharge.  (These are the kind with the handles). I have one that has both an incandescent type bulb and a fluorescent bulb. It can go for months between charges and it gives off pretty good light, masha Allah.

2. You can buy a fluorescent light to mount. Same principle as the flashlight, it charges up but is like a regular fluorescent light that you might have anyway in the house and so of course provides the regular amount of light.

3. Buy a generator.  They have small ones to great big ones.  These run on gas and can be used when the power goes off. We had a small one when we were in Damaaj.

As I said, some areas experience less power outages then others and eventually you  get used to it.  One word of caution, if you have a computer, you will definitely want to have a converter (if you have a computer from the states, you will need one anyway), but I have one even though the computer was purchased here.  The converter helps regulate the voltage, which really fluctuates here and I have heard of several smaller internet cafes having their computers fried because of this fluctuation.

You can buy a decent converter for about $50, maybe less.

4 Responses

  1. Salaamu alaykum. I’m new to the site, but this is very informative. Jazaakillaahu khaira. Can you give an “avg” estimate of monthly elect. bill? Also do you have any info you could post on Dammaj from your time there. Jazaakillaahu khaira wa Salaamu Alaykum. Ps. any ideas on prices for generators?

  2. wa alalykum us salaam,

    I have some posts on Damaaj in my Damaaj category in case you haven’t seen those: http://tjyemen.wordpress.com/category/damaaj/

    Electric bills are not that expensive. Mine is on the expensive side as I pretty much keep my computer on all day (when its working), but we have paid anywhere from 1500 riyals ($7.50) to 5000 ($25.00). We have a refrigerator, two water heaters, and we do not have fans/air conditioners.

    We had a generator in Damaaj, but I can’t remember how much that cost but it wasn’t horribly expensive.

  3. Jizakallah kheir for the imformative blog, Im learning a lot from it.

    Could you tell me more about this voltage converter thing, Ive never heard of one before and would be taking my laptop and other electrical appliances with me to Yemen when and if we go inshallah. I dont want my laptop getting electrocuted if you could please be kind enough to give me a link or something to a voltage converter that you that you are talking about so I can see what it looks like and try to get one that would be brilliant, jizakallah kheir for your time.

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