Probably the least understood company in Mexico is CFE. They are huge and control all the power for the entire country. The old saying of "You can't fight city hall." could have been written with CFE in mind.
If you need a document for proof of almost anything, just take a CFE bill. In many cases it does not even need to be your bill - any CFE bill will do! NOW THAT IS POWER!
We deal with CFE every day and we get questions from our clients almost every day about CFE. The most often asked questions are:
1) How does CFE charge for electricity?
2) How do I read my CFE bill to ensure I am getting the credits for the solar power I send to the grid?
Luckily, after years of experience we can answer both of these questions. The only thing we do add at the end of every explanation is - usually.
How CFE Charges For Power Delivery
CFE has a number of different residential rates for many different regions and areas of the country. These rates are based on the average temperatures for the area.
The hotter the area the more power each home can consume before going into the dreaded DAC.
This can be confusing so let's look at the Emerald Coast:
Here on the Coast we can consume up to 800 kilowatts every 2 months and remain below the DAC threshold. Unfortunately, this does not mean we will have very low CFE bills. This is because the billing, below the DAC rate is on a sliding scale and, it always slides up!
There are 4 levels of charge for the coastal communities:
Level 1 - basic - this is the first 100 kilowatts used in a 2 month billing cycle. This cost (including taxes and fees) is about 1 peso per kilowatt.
Level 2 - is the intermediate and covers the next 250 kilowatts used in a billing cycle. The charge for this is about 1.25 pesos per kilowatt.
Level 3 - is the excessive charge for power used from 351 kilowatts to 800 kilowatts - The charge for this is about 5.5 pesos per kilowatt.
As you can see, there is very little power available for use at the lower two levels. In fact, it is only about 5.7 kilowatts per day. To put that in perspective, your fridge may use up 1/2 or more of the monthly power at these levels.
Once you exceed these first two levels you are into the expensive power range. Use more than the first 350 kilowatts and every additional kilowatt used (up to 800) will cost you more than 5 times the base rate.
The real kicker, however, is hitting the DAC range of power use. The issue is that once you are in DAC all your power use is at the highest charge level - 5.5 pesos per kilowatt. Gone is the cheap charge for the 1st 100 kilowatts. Gone is the cheap charge for the next 250 kilowatts. It is now all at the 5.5 pesos level.
Now when you look at this, it is not so bad. Most of us come from the two largest daily power using countries in the world - USA averages 30 kilowatts per day and Canada averages 33 per day.
If you were to continue to use this level of power here your average bi-monthly billing would be about - $10,000 and 11,000 pesos respectively. That is a chunk of change, when one of the reasons you moved down here was the lower cost of living.