Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Changes To Our Electric Bill


Big changes are coming to our electricity from the CFE (comision federal de electricidad).  They are now introducing a chipped card that will read the new digital meter.   There is no charge for the new meters or the card.   You can choose the day of the month you wish for billing.   There are certain days of the month that you can choose;  1, 5, 10, 15, 20 or the 25th.   So now, billing will be every month instead of every two months.   

There will be no more meter readers or estimated billings.   You are responsible for reading your meter.   The meter will have a green LED that flashes showing that service is working.   On the chosen billing day, the light will remain static signaling it is time to read the meter.   You wave the card over the meter and it takes the reading.   You have 10 days to pay the bill in any of the CFE offices by inserting your card into the machine.  When the LED turns red, your service has been suspended for lack of payment or service has been temporarily suspended.

Now the questions I have to ask next time I go to the office:

1) When will this be mandatory (as of now it is optional)?
2) What usage are you permitted per month under the monthly billing ( now it is 800kwh per two month billing period)?
3) What is the cost of the card replacement in case of loss or damage?
4) What happens if you are out of town on vacation or work when your billing is due and there is no one to read your meter?

This will be interesting to see if they can answer these questions at my local office.  I am anxious to find out about the kwhs per month because now if we go over the 799 per two-month billing cycle, we are forced into the commercial rate of 30 cents per kwh for six months if we reduce consumption below the 799 for that six month period.

The current prices per kwh are:

KWHS      Price in pesos per kwh
    0-150     0.786 
151-200     0.957 
201-799     2.799  

Our bill is always under the 799.   The October to December was 431 kwhs and cost us 621 pesos.  Makes you wonder how we use an electric blanket, pump our water from 60 meters down, run the pool filter everyday for 1.5 hours, and all the other consumption we have.   Check your bill!


  1. Good questions... the one that would affect us (if we had a home) would be that we leave for months at a time... as you do. You might not want to leave anything in your freezer when you go to Canada this summer ;-)

  2. This reminds me of the tribulations a friend used to suffer with his Telmex cell phone. This friend lived in DF, but traveled a LOT for business to places like Brazil. When in those places, he'd have to use his cell phone a lot, which meant a lot of expensive charges. If he happened to be away when the bill was due, they'd simply cut him off. Or if he approached his credit limit, they'd cut him off too. There was no way to pay the bill online, and they wouldn't accept a prepayment either.

    His solution? He had to have his best friend run to Telmex to pay his bill from time to time while he was traveling.

    Sounds like your new electric meter may cause the same problems. For your sake, I hope it doesn't.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where everything happens automatically -- meter read, bill sent, money transferred from bank.