Posted 28 October 2018 By Susanne
Change is an inevitable thing and here in Mexico, it occurs much faster than what we may be used too! ( Hey, it’s just a part of the territory plus, I like it, as it keeps me on my feet!)
One of those things that seem to change and get updated often are the methods in which one can pay their monthly CFE bill. CFE stands for ’Comisión Federal de Electricidad’ and this state-owned company is responsible for powering the entire country of Mexico. In the last 3 years alone, numerous changes have been made in regards to payment methods and if anything, these changes have simplified and catered to its customers making the whole payment process much easier than it was, up until recently ( trust me!)
So, without further ado, check out these 3 simple ways you can pay your CFE bill along with a couple of hints on how to keep that bill low.
Show Me The Money!
1.) In person at your local OXXO
OXXO is the 7-11 of Mexico but on a whole other awesome level. You can pay your cell phone bill, send money to a friend, and even pay your CFE bill. Simply show the attendant your CFE receipt and pay in cash or credit card. HINT: Bring cash. Sometimes they come up with issues when charging a US credit card to pay the bill. I do not know the reason for this, but it’s happened to both my roommates and I a handful of times, so now I bring both my credit card and cash just in case. ( It seems a separate portal is used to pay CFE bills, so even if you just used your credit card for a Snickers bar, you may not be able to use it to pay your bill.) I have not heard of this complaint from those using a Mexican bank card, luckily.
2.) In person, at the CFE drive-thru
Now (finally) accepting US credit cards! Simply drive up to your local CFE office, and pay your bill via the drive-thru. Make sure to have a copy of your receipt, as you will scan it via the machine and then insert your cash/credit card. HINT: You can also pay with a teller inside by simply standing in line BUT I absolutely do not recommend this method. I stood in this infamous line once and it took roughly 2 hours of standing until it was my turn to pay. This method makes waiting in the local DMV look fun.
3.) Ask your landlady/landlord.
Wait, what? Yes, I know..but it IS possible and happens frequently. In my first studio apartment, my landlady simply collected our receipts from our doorsteps, requested the money from me in cash, and would kindly pay the bill ( via the local OXXO I am assuming.) HINT: You may need the actual receipt, so if that is the case simply let them know beforehand that would like a copy of it after the bill has been paid. CFE receipts are considered a form of ID and you may need a copy to provide proof of address. An example of needing a copy of your CFE receipt: setting up internet in your home. You will need a copy of your CFE statement.
What about paying online? Unfortunately, paying online via XOOM is no longer accepted. XOOM is a Paypal owned and allowed one to pay their electric bill and water bill in Mexico, online. (Waking up at 2 AM realizing you forgot to pay the bill, and being able to jump on my laptop to pay was SO convenient. )
Keeping your bill low. An essential part of our daily dose of happiness and being able to spend our hard-earned dinero on having fun. Some of these may sound like a no-brainer, but coming from a zero AC lifestyle I had to learn all of this, by trial and error ( and man, did I learn FAST.)
- Keep your fridge away from the sun and the stove. Your fridge will try to compensate for the additional heat and it WILL use more electricity.
- Don’t keep the AC on while you are out ( unless you have pets, that is another story.) I’ve lived in both a tiny studio a spacey 2 bedroom apartment, and it takes very little time for the rooms to get cool once you switch on the AC unit. ( I may have shed a tear or so, when I saw my first CFE bill after a month of running the AC on all night, as I slept in blissful ignorance.) You can also turn off the AC once it gets cold and blasts a couple of ceiling fans to keep that cool air circulating.
- Unplug all appliances when you’re out. Having worked from home, and having 2 laptops, a computer, humidifier and multiple camera chargers, plugged in constantly, I learned quickly that these appliances use up a lot of juice. Not to mention, the battery in my laptop charger that fried due to an electrical shortage (which occurred a couple of times a week.) So now, I unplug all appliance to save money AND for safety.
- Think twice about building that pool. A pool pump will rack up an enormous bill that will make you think twice about having installed it in the first place. We are in the Caribbean, head down to your local beach or buy a one-day hotel pass and save yourself the headache.
- Invest in dark curtains, to block out the tropical sun during the day. Your AC unit will work much harder to counteract that heat, so keep things dark when you can. You may also want to invest in screens for your windows so you can cool your home naturally, as the Riviera Maya provides us with cool nights during the months of November thru February
Register Your Account online with CFE
By having an account you can do two very important things: View/print your electric bill the moment it is issued, and secondly, view your past statements.
Receipts are often lost, and you will want to easily be able to print/view your bill. I have yet to live in a home with a mailbox. Receipts are often placed under your welcome mat or slid halfway under your door. In my last apartment, they were left in one big pile at the entrance of the apartment complex with nothing but a pebble and a prayer holding them down.
Viewing past statements also has its benefits. I loved seeing the pattern of how I was using my electricity month by month. It allowed me to have a grasp on which months I need to be more mindful of my electrical use. ( FYI Those high bills ended up being June-September.)
Registering online is easy, you just need your very first bill as you will need to enter the account name as written exactly on the bill before creating a password. If you are renting, the account name will be under the name of the actual owners of the home you are renting, so don’t be confused when you do not see your name anywhere on the receipt.
To make sure I was reading things correctly on the website ( or any non-English website), I translated the page. It’s easy to do so, simply right-click on whatever page you would like to translate, and click ” translate to English.” Some words/phrases may not translate correctly, but you will get the gist of things.