High electricity bills in Mexico? · Understanding the reasons and how to get back to normal

This article will explain why and how electricity bills can soar, apparently for no reason, from one day to the other. First and foremost we need to understand the billing pattern that is used by the CFE (Comision Federal de Electricidad - Mexican Utility Company). And by no means is it a simple one. Three factors influence the price per kWh (kilowatt hour): location, season and quantity.



Depending on where you live there will be a summer and a winter price per kWh. That´s because in summer the population relies on the use of air conditioning to escape the brutal heat, therefore larger amounts of electricity will be subsidized in summer. However, there are limits. Depending on the average summer temperature in your area the amount of subsidized summer electricity will be higher or lower.

Domestic Type 1
It is the only service type where the price remains unchanged throughout the year.
  • Basic 0.793 pesos for each of the first 75 Kwh (kilowatts hour)
  • Intermediate 0.956 pesos for each of the following 65 Kwh
  • Excess 2.802 pesos for each additional Kwh


Domestic Type 1A
It applies for areas where the average minimum summer temperature is 25 C/77 F.
Summer (April to September)
  • Basic 0.793 pesos for each of the first 75 Kwh
  • Intermediate 0.956 pesos for each of the following 75 Kwh
  • Excess 2.802 pesos for each additional Kwh
Winter (October to March)
  • Basic 0.793 pesos for each of the first 75 Kwh (kilowatts hour)
  • Intermediate 0.956 pesos for each additional Kwh

Domestic Type 1B
Applies for areas where the average minimum summer temperature is 28 C/82.4 F.
Summer (April to September)
  • Basic 0.697 pesos for each of the first 125 Kwh
  • Intermediate 0.822 pesos for each of the following 100 Kwh
  • Excess 2.802 pesos for each additional Kwh
Winter (October to March)
  • Basic 0.793 pesos for each of the first 75 Kwh
  • Intermediate 0.956 pesos for each of the following 100 Kwh
  • Excess 2.802 pesos for each additional Kwh

Domestic Type 1C
Applies for areas where the average minimum summer temperature is 30 C/86 F
Summer (April to September)
  • Basic 0.697 pesos for each of the first 150 Kwh
  • Intermediate low 0.822 pesos for each of the following 150 Kwh
  • Intermediate high 1.050 pesos for each of the following 150 Kwh
  • Excess 2.802 pesos for each additional Kwh
Winter (October to March)
  • Basic 0.793 pesos for each of the first 75 Kwh
  • Intermediate 0.956 pesos for each of the following 100 Kwh
  • Excess 2.802 pesos for each additional Kwh


Domestic Type 1D
Applies for areas where the average minimum summer temperature is 31 C/87.8 F
Summer (April to September)
  • Basic 0.697 pesos for each of the first 175 Kwh
  • Intermediate low 0.822 pesos for each of the following 225 Kwh
  • Intermediate high 1.050 pesos for each of the following 200 Kwh
  • Excess 2.802 pesos for each additional Kwh
Winter (October to March)
  • Basic 0.793 pesos for each of the first 75 Kwh
  • Intermediate 0.956 pesos for each of the following 100 Kwh
  • Excess 2.802 pesos for each additional Kwh

Domestic Type 1E
Applies for areas where the average minimum summer temperature is 32 C/89.6 F
Summer (April to September)
  • Basic 0.583 pesos for each of the first 300 Kwh
  • Intermediate low 0.726 pesos for each of the following 450 Kwh
  • Intermediate high 0.948 pesos for each of the following 150 Kwh
  • Excess 2.802 pesos for each additional Kwh
Winter (October to March)
  • Basic 0.793 pesos for each of the first 75 Kwh
  • Intermediate 0.956 pesos for each of the following 100 Kwh
  • Excess 2.802 pesos for each additional Kwh

Domestic Type 1F
Applies for areas where the average minimum summer temperature is 33 C/91.4 F
Summer (April to September)
  • Basic 0.583 pesos for each of the first 300 Kwh
  • Intermediate low 0.726 pesos for each of the following 900 Kwh
  • Intermediate high 1.768 pesos for each of the following 1300 Kwh
  • Excess 2.802 pesos for each additional Kwh
Winter (October to March)
  • Basic 0.793 pesos for each of the first 75 Kwh
  • Intermediate 0.956 pesos for each of the following 125 Kwh
  • Excess 2.802 pesos for each additional Kwh

As we can see, the State of Quintana Roo is mainly 1B and 1C. It doesn't look that bad after all you'll say. I'll just pay the 2.802 pesos for each excess Kilowatt/hour and that's it. Wouldn't that be nice... if it weren't for the famous "Tarifa DAC – Domestica de Alto Consumo", that is Domestic High Consumption Rate:



How does it work?
Let's assume you live in Playa del Carmen and receive a 1B electricity bill and you constantly consume over 400 kWh monthly (over 800 kWh bimonthly). If that has been the case for the last 12 months CFE will automatically change your service to DAC! You will loose all subsidies and start paying 3.169 pesos for EACH kWh you consume, regardless if it is summer or winter time. As an example, if with the regular rate you were paying around 660 pesos for 400 kWh a month, with DAC you will end up paying 1270 for the same amount.

How do you get out of it?
1. You try to lower your consumption so that for the next 6 months in a row your bill will be below the 400 kWh. If you manage to do that, CFE will return you to the regular rate.
2. You change the CFE contract to someone else's name (wife, brother, son etc) this way you are given a fresh start with a fresh consumption history.
3. If there's no way you can lower your consumption or change the contract to someone else's name, you could ask to go from domestic to commercial rate. Instead of 3.169 pesos you'll pay around 2.410 for each kWh.
4. CFE has approved the use of bidirectional power meters, that means you can install Solar Panels and feed the excess electricity into the main grid and thus lower your electricity bill.
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