Wednesday, April 11, 2007


In last Fridays weekly newspaper, Atencion, there was a letter to the editor from a five year ex-pat about outrageous electric bills. After receiving two bills that were double the highest one ever received in the past, this ex-pat was practically living in the dark but the latest bill is the highest yet. 50% higher than the ones already considered outrageous.

This isn't just happening to the ex-pats, or to the high-rent neighborhoods, because we hear these stories from everywhere. CFE always says that the reading is correct and that in the past the usage might have been estimated, so pay up or get your electricity turned off.

I have written before about the cost of electricity in Mexico which is higher than it is in the USA. I know one ex-pat who says that CFE can manipulate the lines to make the meters go faster. Hmmmm..... If I have any electrical engineers who read this blog, is this possible?

There are so many complaints that CFE has opened a desk at the offices on Loreto to resolve disputed bills.

All I know is that Ned, el ingeniero (chemical not electrical but still that engineering mindset), is trying to be prepared. He knows about what day the meter will be read, so he has been reading our meter and keeping records for almost two years. Then he compares his reading to CFE's reading. So far they are within a kilowatt or two apart each time. But he is prepared to dispute the bill.....just in case.


cynlynn said...

Double sounds like too much.

I live in Houston and double here would be unbelievably bad on the budget (with the constant hum of the a/c during summer months running that bill to the heavens.)

What sort of costs per month would a couple in say 2500 to 3000 sf expect in SMA?

We are considering a second home there and plan to start looking pronto, but may need to adjust the square footage due to utility costs.

Anonymous said...

I am an EE by education and long past experience - I doubt that there is any method to tamper with lines - but then the rate of the meter counter could be tampered with.

Electric is subsidized by the Government in our part of Mexico. We have never had an electric bill of more than $10.00 US a month.

I do know that Jim and Mindy were running electric heaters in their trailer in Teocelo and were averaging $150.00 US per month.'

Also, I understand the the per kilowatt rate jumps a lot after a small amount of usage (relating to the subsidy and the poor I guess?). I know of one gringo that has two meters that record usage in different parts of his one casa in order to avoid the escalated kilowatt increase after minimal use.

Time to think SOLAR ;-)

John Calypso

Billie said...

Cynlynn, Ned and I have talked about the cost and we're not sure but we think if you don't get stuck with some strange bill, that the electric cost will be $100 to $150/month. Provided that you don't have a pool with a heater or something out of the ordinary. The electric bills come every two months so the $150 bill will be double. Next time you are in SMA, please look us up.

Cynthia said...

Billie, I would love to meet you. I feel like I already know you from reading every last entry in your blog.

I spent the month of October in SMA taking Spanish at Warren Hardy and getting ready for the time when I can truly say San Miguel is home. I had planned to leave today to look for a house, but life got in the way, so it will probably be early May instead. I will let you know what my schedule will be.

Right now, I am enjoying my online search for properties. Thanks goodness for virtual tours!