Your CFE Electric Bill Explained at Last! Plus Tips for Keeping it Low!

CFE Playa Del Carmen

Most people are confused when the white and green CFE bills comes and have no idea how they magically come up with the amount you owe. Here is a (hopefully)  simple explanation of how to read this bill and some simple things you can do to conserve energy in your home so the bill is not too large. This is important since electricity is the most expensive utility in Mexico.

CFE in Mexico-Your electric company

CFE stands for the Federal Commission of Electricity. This is the same company that supplies all of Mexico the power, so no matter where you move you will have a CFE bill. The CFE supplies power to 35.3 million customers, which represents almost 100 million people with about 1 million new customers a year as the middle class expands and young people move into new homes.

Note: This is why your CFE bill is so important. Not only is it what you owe for electricity but is acts like an id. Many government agency’s will require you to have a recent copy of it when going for services.  Also, businesses like your bank and cable company will use the CFE bill as a confirmation of your address. Always save you bills and make current copies for use when opening other accounts or even immigration. Even if the bill is not in your name (for example you are renting), it is just a requirement to see something with an address. Of course if you own your own place, it is good to change it into your name. 

CFE and Rates

Since CFE is the electric company for Mexico, the entire country is divided up in to areas with different electric rates. This is actually pretty fair because different regions of Mexico are hotter then others and you get a lower rate in a hotter place since you need to use more to keep cool. From the map on the below you can see we are in tarifa 1b. Since Playa Del Carmen is in 1b area, the energy rates are as follows. For more information about electric bills you can visit the official CFE website here

The hot season is from April to September and then rates can jump 3 times higher for October to March. So enjoy the government subsidies during the hotter months. Many people use roughly the same amount of energy throughout the year. So when the subsidies are taken away, bills can jump up and surprise people. 

CFE Playa Del Carmen

Note: There is a slight difference in summer rates and don’t forget IVA(tax) is added on to your bill. Bills come every two months or every month depending on where you live. 

Basico: up to the first 250 Kwh the price is o.713

Intermedio: from 250-450 kwh the price is .838

Excedente: over 450 kwh the price is 2.862

So the more power you use, the more you will pay. This seems fair and for most people living a more simple life this means energy is more affordable. People that use air conditioning all the time will pay more and usually people that do use it can afford to pay for the service. Most Mexican households or apartments are paying around 800-1000 pesos for a two month bill. For people that use a lot of air conditioning expect bills to be from 1000-6000 pesos a month. That is a big range, so lets look at the rates and how to keep your bill low. 

DAC electricity rate

DAC stands for high domestic consumption. If you have DAC rate on your bill (see the categories below)  you will be paying more for electricity. The bad thing about getting into this rate chart is the fact you will be paying more and you don’t get to take advantage of the government subsidy for electric.

Below is the official explanation from the CFE website.

DAC Rate
High Consumption Domestic Tariff
This rate applies when the average bimonthly consumption recorded in the last 12 months is higher according to the following table:

Limit to enter high consumption tariff
500 kWh / bimonthly
600 kWh / bimonthly
1 B
800 kWh / bimonthly
1 C
1,700 kWh / bimonthly
2,000 kWh / bimonthly
4,000 kWh / bimonthly
5,000 kWh / bimonthly

My electric bill is so high!!!! Why?

Is your bill looking a little higher then you think it should be? Here are several things you need to look at:

  1. Do you have the  dreaded DAC rate?
  2. Do you have “domestico” under “Uso” on your bill? You don’t want to be paying as a business. Some apartments in mixed use buildings can be miscategorized.
  3. Have your meter checked. It could be faulty.
  4. Make sure it is your bill. It may be in an old name or the owners name of your apartment so you don’t catch it if there are multiple address under that name.
  5. Check to see if the numbers of usage are what your meter say.
  6. If you are in an apartment building are you sure that only your stuff is hooked up to your meter? This is going to be hard to check. You can turn off all your circuit breakers and if the lights in the hall or that air conditioner that is always running stops, then you might have a hint of what is going on (or turn everything off and unplug everything and see if your meter is still moving). That is going to be a conversation you are going to have to have with your landlord. 

Conservation and Money Saving Tips for your electric bill in Mexico

Saving money on your electric bills starts before you move into your apartment or house. (see our article on Considerations when looking at property in Playa Del Carmen for more information). If you are looking to rent an apartment, knowing what you are going to be paying should be important for you because it actually effects the price of your rental. A good tip is ask to see the previous bills to see what people have been paying. Of course everyone has different usage of electricity, but if the rate is the Dac rate then you know that you will be paying the premium price for electricity until it comes back down.

Besides looking at the previous bills, look at the home or apartment with energy in mind. Here is what to look for:

  • Are the exterior walls in full sun during the day?
  • Are there trees around that shade your place?
  • Does the place have an old window unit for AC or a more efficient mini split air conditioner?
  • If a dryer comes with the unit, is it gas or electric? (gas being cheaper of the two)
  • How is the hot water heated and cooking done? Electric is always a lot more expensive. 
  • Are the ceilings low so hot air is not able to rise and keep the living space cooler?
  • If the apartment a lot style with a split level? These are really bad for energy because the upper level is always hot since heat rises and cold air falls. 
  • Does the stove have a vent above it to evacuate hot air? Many do not surprisingly.
  • Does the bathroom have good ventilation? This is good if you like hot showers and don’t want to work the air conditioning more. 
These are all things that will give you clues as to how much your energy cost will be. It may not seem like something you really what to think about when moving in, but if you can imagine the rent being $50-200 USD more a month you would think about it, so you should consider energy efficiency.

Here are some tips to conserve energy for your CFE bill in Mexico

  1. Use florescent or led light bulbs. These have come a long way since the stark white lights that they used to be. You can get warm lights or use lamp shades that buffer the white light. Not only do old light bulbs give off heat (which makes your home hotter and you have to use more ac to cool it) but they use 4-10 times more energy!
  2. Painting your house outside a light color will reflect light and keep your home cooler. Painting it a light color inside will keep your home brighter and you will need less energy to illuminate the interior.
  3. Use air conditioning when you are home or just in the bedroom. Air conditioning is one of the most expensive things to use here. If you own your home you should consider steps to insulate your home better to save in the long run on energy. Insulation here is not really used and walls are often just concrete blocks. Keep your filters clean on air-conditioning units for better energy usage. Consider a year maintenance check perhaps at the beginning of the hot season in April-May.
  4. Air conditioners have different settings on the remote. There is the cooling mode and also a dehumidifying mode. The dehumidifying mode cools more slowly, but can be sufficient and also saves a lot of energy. This can be good for sleeping when you don’t need full blast cold, but just a cooler setting. This is a HUGE tip! So if you don’t know this trick, be sure to try this. 
  5. Use fans rather than air conditioning. A good fan can move a lot of air and you will not have the high contrast to the heat and the cold in the house. This can help you adapt to the climate better here. Also clean fans to make them work more efficiently. It is amazing how much dust and oil from the air collect on your fan and how it affects efficiency. You can choose between ceiling fans and floor fans. Ceiling fans can push down hot air and that is not what you want.
  6. If you have a pool, consider using a timer to run your pump only and hour or two a day. 
  7. When choosing appliances look at the yearly energy consumption. Refrigerators being the most important thing to consider since they consume the most electricity. This is usually that yellow tag. Many appliances in Mexico are not rated very good and many Mexicans are not educated about the energy saving factor.
  8. Keep your refrigerator away from the stove and make sure it is not in direct sunlight. Clean the seals on the door and make sure the temperature setting is overly cool. Since your refrigerator gives off heat, you may consider putting it in a space that will allow this heat to escape. Clean the back of the refrigerator. Don’t put hot food in the refrigerator. Let it cool outside so the refrigerator does not have to work so hard in cooling it down.
  9. Close your curtains during the day to block out the sun. Floors can absorb the heat and reflect it back into the room later.
  10. Open your windows at night to let the slightly cooler air in.
  11. Don’t use appliances, air conditions, pool pumps that are too big for what you need.

Tip: Make sure you get your bill. As stated above it is an important document and you want to have it in order to pay on time. The mail delivery system is very different here and many homes do not have a mail box. What few things are hand delivered are often stuck in a door or even a bush. So learn about when your bill comes and look for it. Also know where it is usually placed. If you live in a condo complex sometimes they get all of them and hand deliver to the individual condos.

How to pay your CFE bill

You can pay your bill up until two days in advance your due date at a convenience store. There is a small commission you pay for the service *about 7-10 pesos). At the office of CFE there is a drive up window and automatic machines that you can use to pay your bill. The machines are relatively easy to use. You scan your bill, insert money and you get your change and a receipt.

Tip: when paying online, most foreign credit cards do not work. Some that live outside of Mexico for part of the year have found some apps that pay bills are the best option. 

Sometimes there are lines to use the machines and if you like self torture you go inside and stand in line to pay your bill.

The main CFE office in Playa Del Carmen is 15th Avenue and 6th Street. 

Electricity in Mexico
Reina Roja Hotel keeps the red lights on at night.

About The Author


  1. Thanks for these good tips. I just moved to Playa. It is hard to figure it all out on my own.
    Keep up the good work! You realize, lots of persons are hunting around for this information, you can help them greatly.

  2. I like this web sie very much so much great info. I just moved to Playa Del Carmen and need to figure everything out.

    • Hello Richard

      CFE is a government run agency if you will. We do not believe they give discounts to older people. We have looked at their website and there is nothing there about it. The rates are fairly low as it is and favors people that use little electric to give lower rates.

  3. I’m very happy to discover this page. I want to to thank you
    for your time in answering many of my questions about moving to Playa Del Carmen.
    I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it.

  4. Some services, like water cost and property tax, give a discount to older people for the service. Is there a discount or lower charge for electricity for older people?

    • Hello

      There is a discount program but you will need a special ID in Mexico for that. You can check into IPAN card. It basically is more for older Mexicans that cannot afford very much. The electricity is very affordable in Mexico unless you use a lot, and in that case you can afford to pay for it.

  5. Thanks for all of your shared information. I’m wondering when looking for an apartment to rent and you ask to see the last electric bills. Would the landlord have those bills or would the people who had been living there had gotten them. If so how would one go about checking to see if the apartment or condo paying the DAC rate. Also do you know if going over the allowed 800kw for 1 billing cycle of 2 months automatically put you up into the DAC rate?

    • The owner of the apartment should have a copy or the original. They should want proof it is paid because the burden is on the building, not the name on the bill. CFE bills are used for official location of residence. So everything from drivers license to Visas will ask for one. Even if the name is not yours, it works. So the name is not important. This means owners can leave it in their name or the tenant can place it in their name. Most of the time it stays in the owners name.

      Here is what CFE’s website says about higher rates. Basically giving limits to what rate you get bumped up to depending on how much you use bimonthly.

      DAC Rate
      High Consumption Domestic Tariff
      This rate applies when the average bimonthly consumption recorded in the last 12 months is higher according to the following table:

      Limit to enter high consumption tariff
      500 kWh / bimester
      600 kWh / bimester
      1 B
      800 kWh / bimester
      1 C
      1,700 kWh / bimester
      2,000 kWh / bimester
      4,000 kWh / bimester
      5,000 kWh / bimester

  6. Thanks! Very helpful. Two questions: where on the bill is the DAC rate indicated if I have it? also do I want the domestico under Uso or not? I just leased an apartment and the bill for the previous 2 months arrived. There are 2 different rates applied “Fuera de Verano” and “Verano”, but they are both different from the rates you list.

    • Hello Christine. On the top left of your bill is Tarifa. See what it says there. It will tell you 1B or 1E or something like that. You will want to have domestic under USO because it is for domestic use in your apartment. There are different rates for the hotter months and cooler months. You really don’t need to pay attention to this because it is just calculated automatically for everyone. The most important is the tarifa on your bill and USO.

  7. Great info on the electric bills. We are considering buying a condo in Puerto Aventuras, but we heard the the electric bills are really high in that area. What should we expect to pay in electricity for a 2 bedroom condo which has a split system (1 in each of the bedrooms and one in the living area). Thanks, Mike

    • Hello Mike

      Prices vary so much it might be good to ask your neighbors or even ask the seller to see the bills. If we had to estimate what it would be, perhaps expect to pay 2000-5000 pesos a month. There are always things like, do you have all three air conditioners on all day? Is it a first floor unit with more shade? How big are the rooms? In general though, you can get a feel for what your bills will be like.

      • Hi. Thanks for the article. Very useful. We are renting an apartment for 4 months. I was wondering when does the DAC get resets? For exemple,we started renting in January. If it gets reset at the end of the year, this is good as the new consumption will be determined by our usage and not be impacted by previous people who rented (especially this place can be rented for a few days or few months, so many different type of usage may have occurred through the year).
        Otherwise, if is not reset at the end of the year, and if it was already in the DAC before we moved in January,it will impact our cost. Not so fair, as we are very low consumers of electricity and never use AC. So how to get rid of the DAC rate therefore ? Thanks. Fan

        • It is important to check the bill before moving into any apartment because if it is in Dac rate it will roll over until usage goes down for a certain period of time. CFE does not know if it is a rental and when the contracts are over, so on paper, all meters are just customers and if the usage goes up, then it stays up even if the renters change.

  8. it says excedente 400kwh/mes not bimonthly, so I guess it’s gonu up to 800kwh/bimonthly for tariff 1B. and that is an average over the last 12 months, so, if your ac is off for the winter it makes a huge difference.
    Cuando el consumo mensual promedio registrado en los últimos 12 meses sea superior a 400 kWh/mes, se reclasificará el servicio en la Tarifa Doméstica de Alto Consumo (DAC) que le corresponda, de acuerdo a tu localidad

  9. If electricity meters are shared by 2 tenents in separate apartments, how can your meter be verified by someone other than the owner? My friend’s
    apartment owner told her she had been given the wrong cfe bill for the past 2 years and presented her with a bill that was 700 pesos more than the usual 200 she used to pay. What can she do about this?

    • Hello Cristine. Honestly this sounds like a mess. Each apartment should have it’s own meter. So the owner started off in the wrong. You could have CFE come and see what meter is attached to the two apartments and make sure the two tenants have the correct bill and split that one. BUT…CFE will likely fine the owner and make them install another meter. It is not the tenants fault she got the wrong bill from the past. If the current bill is 900 pesos, or is it 450 pesos a month? if it is 450 pesos a month this is still fair. In the end your landlord is in the wrong and in true Mexican fashion the best way is to come to some sort of an agreement. The trump card you have is asking to call CFE and have them sort it out. We don’t think the landlord would go for that and would be more likely to negotiate. It does sound like you have been there for a while and are comfortable. If you decided to move over this, it no doubt would cost you at least 500 pesos more a month in cost of a new apartment and moving. So it sounds like it is better for you to pay a little more and your landlord to accept less on the electric. We hope this plays out well. Let us know what happens.

  10. Thank you for answering me so quickly. You are very knowledgeable. I like that. I will pass your information on to my friend. I know she is very appreciative for any help she receives. Thanks again

  11. I have a question not related to cfe. I have been searching for landlord/tenent laws specifically for Baja California since each state has their own civil codes that may apply only to that
    state. I was hoping you could point me in the correct direction so I can find this information.
    Thank you so very much for taking the time to read this message.

    • Maybe a more simple solution or answer is that only rental contracts signed by a notario are legally binding. Usually this comes with a good fee. For example here it usualy cost one near one months rent to get a notario to sign one. The point being, rental contracts are not worth much in Mexico. Eviction is hard to do but both parties should not let it come to that. Mexico is not a litigious society. It is always better to talk it out or move. Technically someone could live there without paying rent for a while but the tension and stress would not be worth it. It can be a test of wills.

  12. Mr. Yucatan,
    Thank you for that interesting information. With all the brouhaha created by Mr. Trump(HE DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ME),it is important to me that I do everything correctly and necessary to live here legally. I married a Mexican but I am still a foreigner. I will always be an American but Mexico is my 2nd love. Thanks again for all your help. Cristine

  13. On my recent bill the Aportacion Gubernamental was added to my Costo de Production. Previously I see it has always been subtracted. Can you think of any reason this was not just a mistake?

    • This must mean that you have used a lot of electricity and the government subsidy is no longer given to you. Now you have the DAC rate.

  14. Hello.. really helpful info. What do you know about the prepaid CFE cards? I am renting in La Paz and that’s what we have. I am trying to project costs because I am paranoid that it will ‘run out’ before I top it off.

    • Sorry for the slow reply. We had to find the answer to what you were looking for. Some people have found a place where they can set up paying for the bills online. We have not used this so do not have any personal experience with it. Hopefully this can help you with paying your CFE.

    • Hello. You can pay with credit card. There are machines outside of the offices of CFE where you can pay. Be forewarned that the lines are usually 10 minutes or longer for the auto pay.

    • Hello Annette

      We are not CFE and do not have access to your records. This is just an article we wrote on our website helping people understand the bills. You will need to contact CFE for your bill.

  15. I am familiar with a book on condo law in the State of Jalisco. Do you know of something similar for the federal laws for all of MX or for the State of Baja CA (Norte)?

  16. Why is it that most everything in the world goes down in cost if you buy more of it, like at Sam’s club? But for some reason electricity cost more if I use more. The same cost savings for generation applies, so why?

    • Hello Mark

      This is a good question and there is a good answer. Electricity is more evenly distributed to people when it is priced in this way. If you are a simple farmer with a light, fan and fridge you only pay a low rate for your electricity. If you have a large condo and run AC all day plus have TV’s, fridge, and lots of energy sucking appliances, you do pay a higher rate. The thought is that if you can pay for all that and you consume more than most other people, you should pay for it. Mexico is socialist in many ways and makes it more equal in some manner.

  17. Can your bill be paid at Mega (even if it is over due)? And why are there 2 lines outside of the building? Which line do you wait in?

    • When your bill is overdue you cannot pay it in places like OXXO. Both lines at CFE are for the machines so you can get in either. Bring change with you because sometimes the machines cannot make more than a certain amount of change. The drive through is faster but then again you need to drive there.

  18. I am so very glad to have come across your website. We have been having nothing but trouble with Cafe. I am having a hard time finding out their rules and responsibilities or contract obligations for service. Our street was meters were checked last year. Cfe charged at least 5 people that were charged and paid for, ” stealing Electricity” as their meters were antiquated and had not been checked for many years. Some people were charged 200o pesos ( pay or get cut off) These people had normal bills of low consumption. The payment was due the day of the check. I was charged 113,000 pesos! My bill at the time was c3000 pesos per month. The people around me just paid it. They just cited corruption and shrugged. I did not understand what was happening and we do not bring that much cash into the country. Cfe would not accept credit cards at all. Cash only. We had to bring in the money according to the law so it took a bit of time. We were cut off of course.
    Luckily our house is equipped with a generator system and can be switched no problem . We bought a generator and had power.
    I went to a lawyer and found that my human rights were violated.
    Cfe should check their meters every 3 years according to their office. Ours was never checked since the house was built in 1983. The equipment, by their own admission, is theirs to maintain. We bought the house in 2010 and moved in in 2012. Cfe has to present their papers in the expat’s language. This is the law. We were charged for 4 years of consumption and then some! We did not understand at first and thought they were changing the meter only. We were accused of ” stealing” electricity. We were not charged through the judicial system of any crime and were tried and sentenced by cfe. Who knows how to steal electricity anyway? We are retired expat’s from Canada.
    This case is the first of its kind to be brought before the courts. People just pay whatever. Even if the meters are fine and never changed.
    This case is finally being heard by the federal court.
    Cfe has no right to charge extra for “stealing” without explanation and proof of wrongdoing
    Cfe must present documents to the owner of the property
    Cfe has no right to cut off service unless the bills are not paid
    cfe must maintain their equipment

    We needed to use the neighbors electricity for a day while I bought a generator so that the refrigerator would keep the food from spooling. I found out that This Is Illegal as well! The poor neighbor is at risk of losing their service. They helped us but only for 5 hours.
    When we bought the house, we did not sign anything like a contract as we were in Canada. The realtor handled that.
    I have been unable to see, read, or obtain a contract. Indeed, after we paid the extortion, they changed our account. I have yet to see any paperwork of service for money.
    Expat’s have been living in Mexico for many years. I find it surprising that this has not come up.
    I suggest that anyone buying would be wise to have cfe check the meter before they buy as the bills presented may not be accurate from the seller.
    Our consumption is high and we have been put into the DAC category. There are no fee schedules for this that I can find. We are being charged a whopping 3.963 per kWh and a cargo Fijo of 196 pesos now. The exceed the rate is 2.80.
    We find it not surprising that cfe raised the rate just when the court case is being heard and not on the six month review. We have been paying on normal residential rate with subsidy for almost a year now. We are told that the review month is May. This is October.
    Our bills were around 5000 a month and now doubled. We feel targeted certainly.
    I would like all expat’s to be aware. I feel that the contract should be available to all. While it is the consumers responsibility to pay for services, it is the service delivery company’s responsibility to define and take accountability for service delivery. I am not sure about cfe’s power to accuse and convict and punish on a criminal accusation of stealing.
    We feel we are not accountable for their equipment, faulty or not. We know we did not touch their meter and would not know how to.
    One more thing, cfe would not take credit cards for payment at their office. They almost did not want to accept a bank draft. They wanted cash.
    We went from 1c to DAC both domesilio.

    Can you investigate contractual obligations to customers ? Our name is ” mud” here concerning cfe, naturally.

    • Thank you for your experience with CFE. There have been several high level cases and demands lately brought by people against the company. The best thing to do is stay in top of it and work with a lawyer that knows how CFE works and how to get results. The good thing is that many parts of Mexico are good for solar and people have the ability to switch over completely and be off the grid.

  19. Hi! Thank you so much for this information! I can’t find an answer to a question, unless it’s in this article and I’m not understanding it… I’m in an area that’s allowed 800 kwh bi-monthly. If I use 900 kwh do I pay whatever the 800 kwh would normally be (I realize it’s a tier structure) and then the super high rate only on the extra 100 kwh or would I at that point be paying the crazy high amount on all 900 kwh? Again thank you so much!!

  20. Hola! So I just received my first CFE monthly bill via the electronic card and it was 697 kwh, which is way too much for just myself. I’m convinced my water heater covers the top 2 floors because I know there isn’t one next door or below, since I stayed in both units before settling on the 3BR for when I have guests. I rarely ever use the AC and I’m at the coworking space on most days. My next door neighbors are 3 women living in a 2BR and theirs was only 321kwh, and they paid about 700 pesos for their bill. When I went to the electronic machine it said 3,451 PESOS! That seems to be WAY more than the highest rate. Because it’s an e-card, I didn’t receive a bill. Is this normal? If I go into CFE will they correct it?

    • Hello Don
      That does seem to be too much. Do you have gas hot water or electric? One thing you can do is turn everything off and see if your meter is running. The electronic meters have had issues and you may need to go to CFE and sort it out.

        • I can tell you that it is very low considering many other electric bills. On average it is between 400 and 1000 pesos depending on air conditioning use. Design of the home, shade, LED lights and other things mentioned in this article really help reduce cost. This can be very important if you are going to have a unit to rent out in the future. Some spend $500 USD a month on energy and that really cuts into ROI.

  21. Hi Mr. Yucatan,
    Thank you for all the interesting info, i just want to validate one point for my understanding, if I exceed over a two month billing my 800kwh ( 1B) I assume they won’t put me in DAC right away ? Would they look once a year my consummation and do an average? Exemple if I used less than 4,800kwh =800kwh x 6 bills I will be able to keep the USO ? Thank you very much

    • Hello Diane

      Perhaps no one knows exactly how CFE works but it would be the assumption that the billing is based on a rolling average. This means they do not look at your account once a year. If your average goes above you will be moved up to the higher rate.

  22. Hi Mr. Yucatan,

    Just got our latest CFE bill and we have been moved into DAC. The annual total we were allowed is 3000kwh (average of 500kwh per billing cycle) and if you can believe it we came in at 3003kwh.


    1) Does this mean we will be at the DAC rate for the next 12 months?

    2) Is there any point appealing to CFE since we were over by so little?

    3) If we change the name on the account (basically making it a new account) will that allow us to go back to the basic rate?

    Thanks for all your help! Bruce

    • Hello Bruce

      You should have this rate for 6 months we believe. You can talk with them but there is probably note much that will come of it. People have tried to change the name but pretty much does not work. When you rent a place it comes with the rate that it has even if a new tenant comes. It does not automatically go back down to a basic rate.

  23. Has anyone heard about CFE requiring a CURP to have an account…as of last week? Friends bought a house on tourist visa and cannot get the meters transferred into their names.

  24. How does one go about cancelling a CFE account? I have a second meter on our garage and have discontinued its use.

    • Hello Keith

      You will need to go to the CFE office and talk with them. We don’t know the specifics of how this is done.

  25. Hello
    and thank you for some much needed infor. page. Unlike what I have read, we receive a monthly bill. And have to keep our eye balls wide open for the meter dude who cuts us off within 2-3 days after receiving our bill! We have business relations in S.D. weekly and have come home to a black out twice. ;( The most recent bill we paid in the office. The elect whas still on but we were informed They had a order to shut us off. So they charged us the restore fee regardless. ( I say uncool. Lunch on me apparently.) So with that said he also stated we just pay the entire bill. A VERY high $3879 $+( !!! I had already paid the last bill showing Su pago=I paid with a (-) of the obvious. But not subtracted. He was insistent and we (I) not stoked, had no receipt. Grrr. We have this one though and sure enough the next bill shot up to $7800! Holy Moly.. Mind ya’ll we rent a Lucille Ball Wonderland single wide with a brick add. Super cute funky flair + a million dollar beach front view. Our draw back is only 1 person can fit down the connecting hall people. My friend states ” Jeez you ain’t running no disco night club”? I now realize we were double charged December also. SU PAGO. Clearly printed but not print applied. This went from Nov. $1700 with a heater. To them adding them together and VAC package dealy-o. Anyone want to explain. I’m waiting for the circus music to start.???
    The Receipt Cabesa Shakers

    • One note, a lot of peoples bills went way up recently and then dropped because the bills were estimated and then actual readings taking place. Some paid 3000 pesos one month and then $0 the next. It is always fun with CFE and always something to learn.

  26. I live in Chixculub and want to pay my own power bill, instead of my landlord paying for it and me paying him. How do I get a card and number to pay CFE?

    • Hello Wanda
      You must have the new meter with card. Most landlords don’t want tenants paying incase they stop and cause reconnection fees. Is there a reason you want to pay it directly? Do you think you are being charged a different price? If you want to do it you are going to have to talk to your landlord and visit the CFE office in person.

  27. What is the current DAC rate. We stayed at a condo for a month and needed to pay electricity. We were very conservative, shut the AC off entirely when we were out of the room…even left for 3 days and shut everything down. The rental company says we owe $480 US. We have rented in the past and it was not this high. Does anyone know the rate per kh if it is at the highest DAC rate?
    Thanks so much for your input!

    • Hello Alicia
      There are four types of consumption. Also we assume you are renting in Playa Del Carmen? It is best if you take a meter reading at the begining of your rental and put it on the contract. That way you can see how much you used and calculate it that way. The rental company can just show you the bill or ask for a certain amount but you need to see the cut off dates for the bill and have your usage recorded so you can figure it out correctly.

  28. Thank you for trying to explain how the CFE works.

    My bill has the tarifa GDMTH and we are billed monthly. The latest bill was $5816 for 1626 KWH during the month of July. Is it possible that we are paying business rates as opposed to residential rates?

    I found a copy of the original contract signed by the original condo owner and it had the old rate of HM.


    • Your best bet is to ask around in the expat community if someone can help you with it. They are very confusing bills and many people have issues with CFE.

      • If you have a computer, download Google translate. It worked after I got a user ID and password for CTE.

  29. I live in the US and have a condo in Puerto Aventuras that I rent out. I have a property manager there that pays the electrify bills, but Is there a way to see and pay my bimonthly bill online?

    • You can set up your electric bill to be electronic and you do it online. However non Mexican cards often do not work in paying them. Some people prepay but this is not the best if cfe makes a mistake and overcharges you. You can have your management company send a photo of it ans you send them money via PayPal as a option.

  30. We are in a condo complex (of over 100 condos) in Puerto Vallarta and we are considering augmenting our CFE power for common-use by installing solar-voltaic panels (possibly 120 panels). Our expectation is that we will be able to sell for credit excess power to CFE. Have you had or heard of any positive or negative experiences of others doing this? And, is there any one installer that stands above others in Jalisco? Finally, thank you for the service you are providing. I’ve read through your blog and your contribution to our understanding of CFE is significant and well appreciated.

    • Thank you Gary for reading our website. We don’t know any installers in Jalisco since that is the other side of Mexico but we have heard of people installing solar panels and having good success with them. The cost have come down now and the return is shorter. Most buildings that consume a good amount of power benefit for solar since most units will go into the higher rate of consumption. Most people still do pay something for energy even with panels. A good provider in your area should be able to do the math for you and your association can balance that our with long term cost.

    • Are you asking about electric rates cheaper in different times of the day? We do not belive the rate is different for different hours, it changes by season and usage amounts only. If someone knows otherwise, please let us know.

  31. Northern Mexico. I was just introduced to the highest rate. Almost $10,000 mxn for Dec/Jan. 2019.
    It was cold up in the mountains and had used some resistance heaters along with propane heaters.
    I should have stuck with the propane. And this was just the bedroom.
    Seems to be the highest utility.

  32. I was trying to pay my CFE bill on time every time i’m In Mexico however when I was outside the country I had an opportunity to pay the bill through a mobile app. Every cards I used was not accepted. Now the bill is past due. I found a Xoom company but the bill can not be past due, how can I pay my bill now since it’s past due???

  33. Hello, thank you for your very informative article and answers to questions. I live in Playa del Carmen. I have lived in my unit for a year. I will start paying for my electric this next bill and there after. My meter is separate from the big house and the other two rental units. I have the last bill for my unit for reference. Can I log on to the CFE site and sign up using the account information. The bill for house and units is in the name of Landlady. Thank you.

    • Hello Alice

      You should be able to sign up so you can pay online your bill. This is a handy feature. Just be sure to remember your password because it is very hard to change it or try to get a new one.

  34. Hi there, I am just looking for more info on the tarifas and was looking at your article (again) as I’d previously found it helpful to understand the bills. Here’s something new to add into the muddled CFE mix: I live in Cozumel and we’ve been getting charged by the 1B tariff rate – but apparently, it doesn’t even exist in our area anymore. We are supposed to be 1D. I had not come across this info anywhere, so didn’t know it was an issue and we’ve been paying inflated bills for who knows how long… We had someone come to assess our home and help us because we’ve always had such high bills and now understand that was part of the reason.

    • Hello Adrianna

      We think we have seen a petition against CFE about this. People were writing to if not mistaken because many people feel they were charge to high of a fee. It is never easy dealing with CFE and understanding the bills and changing rules. We feel for you.

  35. I have a house in Cabo San Lucas and tre small apartments on one lot.
    The CFE hase cut my power and said i was stealing electricity for eleven years.
    They said the pulled the meter and i was still drawing 98 amps
    i wase inthe states when thise happened,my wife and her mother wer thenonly ones ther.
    thecame in the house and saw a 5 ton aire codioner thats 35 years old and hase no been used for years .i use a mini splite . the are saying iwase using this 5 tone aire all the tim.
    my apt. i have not been renting to hard tocolect the ren so i dont rent them now,
    They say i owe 60000 dls and cut my power 3 months ago. what can i do?

    • Hello Kent

      Profeco is one option. They are the Mexican consumer agency that does look at disputes. There are many issues with CFE and it can take a long time to resolve them.

      • Our contractor did our electric hookup after doing construction and installing our pool. That was in 2019. Our power got cut in 2020, claiming that we were stealing electricity. We were charged 11K US. Took 3 weeks to get it paid and reconnected, as we are in the states now. Our contractor did it, and we have zero recourse.

  36. Hi guys,

    I am looking to purchase a condo that was previously used as a rental and is in the DAC rate. How long does it take to get it back in to 1B? if the next bimonthly bill is within x kwh will it revert back or does it take longer?

    Also does the CFE bill reset to standard rates on sale or does the new owner continue on DAC?


    • Hello James

      This will not change with new owner, one would only hope, but is not the case. Usually it takes six months to revert back if the average drops. If the condo had high bills, you might wonder about the efficiency of the condo and what you will do differently to lower the rate. Often bills remain similar unless you plan on opening the windows and not using the ac. Most condos are not designed well enough to keep them cool with airflow. You do also have to ask yourself, if the rate does not drop, can I live with that? Often condos closer to the beach have higher rates of electricity.

  37. I live in Montemorelos Nueva Leon, my house has some shade. 3 beds 2 baths 1300 square feet. Five mini splits. We keep the temps around 25 grados. My bill for the last two months was 21,000 pesos. I now have all units shut down but one that is set at 30 grados. OUCH!!!

    • Wow that is really high! There are a lot of irregularities with CFE and many people are asking for details from CFE.

  38. How many years back can the cfe go back when they charge you for stealing electricity.They are charging me for 11 years at 24 hr usage on everything on my property!

  39. Hi, I live in a campo with 21 homes and one of the landlords is stealing electricity from the residents. He has his home hooked up to an 87 year old lady’s home, she is here legally from the US and on disability. She fell and broke her hip and was in the hospital for 6 weeks and her bill was almost $300 (it’s bimonthly but still, mine is usually about $30)! Obviously she can’t afford that. Anyhow, there is a relative of the landlord that is also piggybacking on another home, they only come down twice a year and their bill, for 3 billing periods in a row when they weren’t here, was over $200 each time. What can we do to get the landlord to fix it? One of the ladies here checked the meters and the owner that is stealing electricity doesn’t even have a meter. Even if they do come out and check, what will they do since they won’t have anything to do with fixing the issue?

    • That is a difficult situation. One opinion is, if the landlord is that much of a problem, it is not a good option to stay there. One option would be to get a confirmation from CFE that the person is stealing electric by illegal hookup. Then it can be presented to Profeco the consumer protection agency. Another option is to get a lawyer and out in a demand against the landlord. Another option is not paying the rent until the problem is fixed. It is very hard to evict someone in Mexico but also not a nice situation to be living next to a problem.

  40. I have registered with CFE for bills by email. This works very well so far. For this month I received the email on 20/09/19 which is certainly quicker than bills slipped under doors. In the past I tried to pay by credit card but found that the CFE software was not setup to allow non-Mexican credit cards. So what I do is pay by bank transfer from my Mexican bank account (which has a branch in Tulum) to CFE with the reference being the 30 digit number at the bottom of the CFE bill. I would recommend banking with a global bank that allows accounts in different countries and easy transfers. It helps with exchange rates as well.

  41. When installing solar what is minimum bi/monthly payment due to keep CFE connected in Jalisco for tarif 1b ,2 , andHigh Demand 35kw

  42. My name is Anais I am currently staying in lomas de Nueva York Aguascalientes Aguascalientes Mexico since early this morning the whole town has been without any power my father-in-law depends on the electricity provided by CFE to keep his monitors on for his safety and his life I have reported the outage since this morning it is October 26th 2019 as of right now it is 11:36 p.m. I have attempted to contact the governor of aguascalientes and anybody else that controls Aguascalientes however after attempting zero 71 for emergency outages here we are without power my father-in-law’s oxygen supply is running low I feel as if the emergency outage operators are neglecting the emergency calls being received from lomas de Nueva York however I’m respectfully asking for you to help get electricians to work on our power it is highly important for the electricity to return life is in danger and CFE yes responsible for any outages and if the operators answering the emergency outages are not doing their job consequences of losing their job comes Monday morning I am respectfully requesting 8 electrician to come and fix our electricityif somebody could please contact me in regards to CFE electricity and the power outages and when they could possibly fix the issue I would highly appreciate it however I am going to look into reporting it with higher power if not fixed soon it is ridiculous for a simple power outage that can be fixed quickly could cost a life if not fixed soon it does not have anything to do with storms vandalism it was simply destroyed by a vehicle accident I’m asking you to please return my email as soon as possible as I am going to continue to call the zero 71 if no communication is brought to my attention soon I will have to report CFE on Monday morning and if anything happens during this outage due to responsibilities of the electric company not being made or The operators taking the emergency outages phone calls consequences for the employees will Percy however I am respectfully requesting any electricians for CFE to please come work on our electricity soon thank you very much for your time I hope and pray you can fix this issue unlike The operators of CFE emergency line and which I will be complaining about Monday morning thank you very much have a great night

  43. Is there any way to find out if CFE uses a “rolling” average? Or any information on how and when KWH are averaged would be great. Don’t want to have one high usage bill and be instantly placed in DAC!

    • Hello
      Would you have the current rates. According to my last bill, the rates here are outdated. Would like to have the summer and winter rate for 1B. Thanks 🙂

  44. Good morning:
    If I overpay my CFE bill, will that amount be carried forward as a credit on my next bill

    • Hello Bill

      This should work but some people have had a credit on their account in order to “prepay” for more months in the future and have had problems with it disappearing. Most people will say to just pay the months bill each month.

  45. Hi, our power was shut off in Puerto Morelos today. I paid my bill online already and received confirmation. How long does it take CFE to restore power? Does someone have to come out or is it down automatically by a signal? Thank you.

    • Was your account overdue or was it just an incident of the power being out at the time when your bill was due? Did your neighbors have power? You might have to pay a reconnection fee.

  46. I have been in this area for 4 months and without exception everyone I have met hates CFE. In my trash can I found about 40 bills, unopened…someone just dumped them in there! I have had power problems almost the whole entire time I have been here. Is installing solar a way of being free from CFE? It is so frickin hot and sunny here..why isn’t there more solar panels used?

    • It is sunny a lot of the time and makes solar a more viable option. If someone does not use a lot of energy, CFE is still way cheaper than getting panels. The good news is there are more installers and panels are getting better with efficiency. Many people live in condos and there is not enough space for panels on the roof for everyone. So there are some drawbacks.

  47. Oh boy do I have a story I’m living on top of my landlord’s house it is a two bedroom with one mini split in one of the bedrooms in the other room is too hot to even step into. And I got here on June 10th I paid 6 months in advance to the landlord to live here. On July 10th a presenting me with the bill that was for April and May gifts for 400 19 pesos I discussed it I really don’t know that much but I paid it rid of reluctantly because you gave me an ultimatum either you pay it or you leave they’re for surrendering my 18000 pesos. Well here we are late August my meter indicates that I have used 2758 kilowatts per hour. There are two meters and I have investigated and studied and found the problem. Pain bring it to the attention of my landlord he went ballistic on me.

  48. Thank you for the explanation but I don’t understand my bill Tarifa is GDMTH and it’s always 11,000 to 13,000 pesos and we get the bill EVERY MONTH! I can’t believe how expensive our electricity is we only use 1 AC unit, and another one only at night. Do you have any advice? We rent in Mareazul and the bill is under the owner’s name I pay it every month at the CFE ATM machine. We have been here 11 months now…

  49. Great post. I was looking for ways to lower my CFE. I was paying 3000 pesos every two months for a two bedroom condo. I stopped renting out my condo and the bills went out of DAC rate because I did not have guests leaving the ac on all the time.

  50. We’re here now in PDC. Just received our electricity bill. Every time I get one of these here as part of our AirBnB rental I fell like I’m getting ripped off. We always rent for one month and never use the AC (we like it hot). Our bill today was charged at $7.86 pesos per KWH. Converted this is US $0.40/KWH USD. Even with no AC use at all, we used 473 KWH for one month. 473 KWH x .40 = $189.20 USD. AND be aware they will add on additional charges for taxes. The first one is called DAP charged at 5%, and the second is called IVA and is charged at 16%. So they will add an ADDITIONAL 21% in taxes! So our bill is $4,500 pesos or $229 for one a month electricity bill with taxes! Ouch for using no AC at all! I ALWAYS feel like they are skimming and scamming me when presented with an electricity bill here in Mexico. The real questions we need to ask is: What actually is the real base rate that you should be charged? Not sure, but after some research we found the base rate should be around 3.93 pesos/KWH. A little math and you’ll see that I’m being charged exactly TWICE the actual rate. Here’s what I think is going on…..they double the KWH rate, they pay the bill and keep the difference! IMO I think this scam is active and alive here in PDC.

    • Since you are renting, you are bound to what rate the previous tenants were paying. It sounds like the previous tenants used a lot to reach the higher level or rate paid for energy. It is good to check that only your unit is connected to you meter and then you can check the meter to see if it is working correctly, but this often is a complicated process to have CFE come check it. It is one of the things that is frustrating in Mexico.

  51. I had a terrible landlord who rigged up his large home to bypass the CFE meter. I tried to report him but got no reply in FB/TW. Does anyone know how to notify CFE? Plz msg me, Jason: 9984191104

  52. If CFE cuts your power but you pay the past due bill through Xoom and it now shows as paid on the CFE website, do they automatically restore the connection? I know there is a reconnection fee but not sure how to pay as it the site or Xoom won’t allow me to send additional funds unless there is a new bill and I won’t be back there until next week. Trying to get this resolved before I get back there. Thanks!

    • If they have cut your power, you will probably need to contact your local office and get it connected. CFE does not cut off power right away if you don’t pay. But if you know for sure they have, then you will probably have to go through the process to get it hooked back up.

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