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I lived there for 7 years and we've had this discussion dozens of times and I've yet to begin to imagine how anyone is at some of those low levels. My casita was empty during the summer and even then it was more than some of these quotes and all that was running was a porch light and a wireless modem. Good luck.

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For what you are ‘running’, your panel installation is doing very well. To put your energy costs into perspective, can you give a relative cost for purchase and install of the 8 solar panels?  Did you do an estimated ROI on that purchase?  

You do, of course, use electricity from CFE.... when the sun is not shining brightly or it is nighttime .... but you must put more back into the ‘grid’ when your panels are generating power. 

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4 hours ago, giltner68 said:

I lived there for 7 years and we've had this discussion dozens of times and I've yet to begin to imagine how anyone is at some of those low levels. My casita was empty during the summer and even then it was more than some of these quotes and all that was running was a porch light and a wireless modem. Good luck.

So, are you saying people are lying about their CFE bills? Why would anyone do that?

i have lived here 10 years. My highest CFE bill has been 320 pesos for two months. Most are between 200 and 250. I do not have tv. Have a washer but no dryer. No dishwasher or air conditioner. Ceiling fans in most rooms. Toaster oven, coffee maker, and electric kettle. Comfortable life. I agree it varies house to house. A friend who never had a bill more than 400 pesos moved into a house and had 2000 peso bills from the beginning. Had it checked, some changes made but it never went below 1,000 pesos every two month. She moved after a couple of years and her bills are back to below 500 pesos with no changes in her life style. 

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Same here, Xena. I have the same stuff as you, minus the toaster oven, coffee maker and electric kettle. But I do use 2 industrial sewing machines and an iron for my work. Bills are 160-230 pesos for 2 months. Biggest bill I ever had was 500, for 2 months when I was away and had had housesitters. Can't imagine how they got it that high- she must have used a hairdryer or something daily or they just left all the lights blazing day and night. I did build my house from scratch and it was properly wired. 

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Our bills for 2018 averaged 500 pesos or 250 a month but we have the following:

a pool, refrigerator, freezer, washer (3-4 loads / wk), toaster, dishwasher, two computers, printer, etc... But we have solar (10 panels) and CFE billing is somewhere in LA LA Land... Our usage doesn't vary from month to month but the bills do. Even taking into account weather variations the CFE system is less than optimal.  One month 129 pesos and 920 at another...

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imho, the biggest sucker of electricity is a pressurized pump delivering water from an aljibe to the house and the garden. In SMA we had a tinaco and I specifically chose a house with a tinaco to buy here. In both locations the electricity consumption was reasonable. On the coast, we had an aljibe with pressurizing pump and the two houses we rented here had the same set up. In those three locations, the electricity consumption was high.

Added to that abnormal consumption is the fact that the equipment is usually located out of sight and hearing. So, you may not be aware of your pressure pump constantly cycling on and off. It may be cycling on and off because you have a leaky toilet valve or other house leaks (a 1/16th diameter hole in a pipe elbow will cause you to lose 1,000 litres of water in an eight hour time frame AND your pump will be going on and off);  or you may have a faulty check valve in the aljibe tubing; or ?

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Ferret: Agree ! Our aljibe cycles more than it should and has been since we moved in three years ago... We are having it pulled this month to determine the problem which may be that it is losing its prime... 

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Note to renters:  If you move into a rental that is in the DAC electrical consumption rate, you will continue to pay that very expensive rate for a year or more. CFE requires that the consumer (actually your landlord) manage his account better to earn the right, upon application, to be returned to the lower rate structure.

Large refrigerators can be heavy users of electricity, in most homes, especially if they have a leaking door seal. Many do have such leaks, even when new, and adjustments will cure the problem.  Of course, all electric heat-producing appliances are the real culprits.  If you have all flurorescent or LED bulbs, inside and out, good water pressure-pump controls, and practice energy conservation, you can easily live with the equivalent of $20 USD monthly CFE bills.  It takes attention to details.

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Also all these low electric bills are very nice but I can tell you  we paid plenty before we install the solar system, not everyone lives the same way so do not expect you will have a low bill. Check what the previous people paid , that will give you a way better idea of what you will spend. The pool alone consumes 600 pesos a month in electricity at our house and I know that because it is on a separate line. Our bill varies from 46 pesos to 700 and we have 8 panels on the solar system.In the winter the bill goes up because we use more electricity and produce less.

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Eighteen solar panels covers us pretty much all year round.  This year with so much cloudiness we have gotten some small bills.  Have pool, two ponds with waterfalls, pressure water system, home theater and three other TVs.  Have been able to reduce consumption significantly using CFL and now LED lighting, efficient pumps and motors.  

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It would depend entirely on the number of watts per hour a panel can produce in ONE hour in perfect conditions. Mainecoons installed his system a while ago as did Pete. Mine are rated at 350 watts per hour... and I have 5. My bills since installation in March of 2018 have been 46 pesos and I also racked up 389 kwh in credit to use for a heater when it's been cold. BTW, that doesn't include the 10 days without electricity when the work was being done here in Riberas on the new poles. When the electricity goes off, so does the digital meter.

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4 minutes ago, Ferret said:

...................... When the electricity goes off, so does the digital meter.

Ah, so CFE has devised a way to ‘eliminate’ the energy provided by the solar panels.... or at least the accounting of said?  😕   I am assuming that it is the digital meter that keeps track of the solar input that accounts for the savings.... or the lack thereof when it is not powered up. 

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3 hours ago, AngusMactavish said:

I had a pressure pump installed on the tinaco's output and I hear it cycle often, but have seen no actual increase in electricity usage after seven months.

I also have a 1/3 hp booster pump on my tinaco's output (an igoto) and it uses hardly any electricity because it is boosting downflow. The water pressure from the street is enough to fill the tinaco even through a filter. The difference is that an aljibe submersible pump is already below ground and pumping up against gravity to wherever so is usually a higher hp.

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Some older houses, say built before the 1980's, have a problem with electrical shorts. The wires were installed without conduit, the plastics became corroded, and are continously shorting, driving your CFE up the wall. A very expensive problem to find and fix. Best to completely rewire.

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Yes, that would be another problem.

When we lived in Riviera Alta, the electricity spiked dramatically to 15,000 pesos one billing period. We had an electrician come in and finally figured out that a voltage regulator (one of the kinds without a fuse) had been fried. It was red hot to the touch and was shunting the electricity to ground in a free for all. Replaced the voltage regulator and it went back to normal. It can be really hard to figure out where a problem is.

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6 hours ago, CHILLIN said:

Some older houses, say built before the 1980's, have a problem with electrical shorts. The wires were installed without conduit, the plastics became corroded, and are continously shorting, driving your CFE up the wall. A very expensive problem to find and fix. Best to completely rewire.

You hit the nail on the head there. I have friends whose lifestyle and electrical appliances are more or less like mine, yet their CFE bills can be twice what mine are. Unless one has built their home from scratch, using a competent electrician, or had it all redone, you have no idea how funkily your house is wired. I have a friend who called in an electrician because she was getting shocks off the appliances. He told her it was because the electrician who had originally wired the house used wire nuts that were too small and the electricity was "leaking out". She knew nothing about such things, so she believed him. He proceeded to remove all the wire nuts and replace them with little pieces of electrical tape (then I'm sure he used those wire nuts in another installation where the owner actually had some knowledge of proper wiring) In fact, there was nothing wrong with her original wiring, that American-licensed electrician wired my house and I've never had any problems. The problem was the bozo she'd called between the original and the last to add another circuit to an outbuilding- he'd disconnected all the ground wires, telling her they were unnecessary.

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22 hours ago, RickS said:

Eighteen!?!   That’s the largest array I’ve heard of at a residence. You must have a lot of well positioned roof expanse.  Surprised that you aren’t always running a negative balance. 

While the typical home uses 6 to 10 panels (currently a 2 to 3.5 kW size system) there are homes in the area with as few as 2, and as many as 50 panels.     As Mainecoons alluded to, water pumping uses a lot of energy, so if you take h/h use, plus a pool, and fountains / ponds, some running 24/7, it can add up...

The digital meter being "out" really doesn't matter, as any grid-tied system should quickly shut off once it no longer sees the grid reference power.    It is an industry standard to protect utility workers from getting zapped.

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VMITCHELL:  An alternative option, I don't suggest it's better than going with solar, is to install your own electrical transformer. 

When using the standard electric set up, you're using power from a transformer, owned by the electrical company here, CFE.  As you've read here, there are three rate/price levels depending on total Kw consumption.  Some people get by with level one, many are in level two, and those who consumer higher fall into the third.

Installing your own transformer, sized for your projected needs, "locks" the Kw rate/price between rate level one and rate level two - regardless of your total Kw consumption.

This isn't for everyone, but it's an option that many people don't know about.

Another detail, many folks have more than one meter.  Might be one for the main house and one for the guest house.  I know one, single house, that has three meters.  In this way, consumption costs are spread across more than one meter, and the home owner might have things wired so that items using the most electricity are split between two or more meters.

There's also the reality that some people live in homes where the meter itself, doesn't "go around".  Electricity is on, but the meter doesn't measure it.  In such a case, there is only a tiny minimum cost for service.  Years ago, I lived in a house in Rancho Oro with such a meter, though it was nearly 6 months before I knew it.  That's after having spent a couple of hundred dollars to replaced all the incandescent bulbs with compact florescents. 

I'm not advocating stealing from CFE, simply pointing out things that occur, commonly, in Mexico.

glitner68.  Sounds like you might get value from having some testing done to see if you might be sharing electricity with someone else, or have some unknown leakage that might easily be rectified.

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Installing your own transformer means that you're also responsible for its maintenance. If something goes wrong with it, you fix it or replace it (even if it's CFE that causes the surge that blows it) and they ain't cheap.

Giltner68 has already moved back to the States.

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Apart from the $$$$$$ cost, having a transformer also means an account tarifa code with fixed charges, such as OM or PDBT.   NOT recommended.     

CFE meters found to be non-functional can incur both fines, as well as full estimated charges for whatever time CFE deems it was out of service for.        The old dial style ones are being replaced on an ongoing basis as they make their rounds, if they change one and find the new digital meter showing more use than the old slow or not reporting one, watch out.....have had several people switch to solar before this happens, that way there is no easy way for CFE to compare the old "lack of use" with the new "lack of use"...….!     😉 

Finally, it is almost impossible to get a 2nd meter these days unless there is a separate legal address, CFE isn't giving them out for "casitas" any longer the last we heard.

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On the other hand, if you have a non-functional meter make sure you report it and write down the folio number of the report, the date it was reported and to whom. I did that. I then phoned them every two months when the bill arrived that the folio number was still open. It was still non functional fourteen months later. But, it's called "cover your butt".

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