Power Outages? How to Improve the Electricity in your Portuguese Home

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Written by: | Last updated on February 29, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes
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If you’re new to Portugal, and perhaps staying in an older property, one thing you may have noticed is that, in some properties, the power has a tendency to cut out at times. This usually only happens when you use more than one high-powered device at once, such as a microwave, hairdryer, or electric heater. Use several of these at once, and you may be plunged into darkness, scrambling to find the fuse box. 

There is a simple solution for this, and in most cases it’s very straightforward: phone the electricity company and ask them to increase the power. In Portugal, one of the ways electricity is priced is based on the amount of power you receive into a property, and when you have multiple devices using the same limited amount of power, it’s common for the electricity to cut out.

According to utilities expert Fernando Mendes, “If your power keeps cutting out, it’s usually possible to upgrade up to around 30 amps, which should be more than enough for most people.”

However, there may be some cases where this isn’t possible, as Fernando points out: 

“The most common reason you won’t be able to upgrade is if you’re in a property with older wiring as these properties aren’t always capable of handling the increased power. It’s also possible the electricity company won’t be able to supply the increased power, however, the first issue is more common.”

Upgrading your electricity comes with increased costs. If you’re renting, it’s possible that your landlord will ask you to pay the difference. 

Written by

James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.