How do I pay my electric bill in Mérida?

electric bill in Mérida

Your CFE bill arrives every 2 months. It is placed in your mailbox, if you have one. It may also be folded up and stuck in your gate. Now you have the bill, you need to know the next step. How do I pay my electric bill in Mérida Mexico? You have two options to pay your bill: 1) in person or 2) online. If you opt to pay your bill through a 3rd party, scroll down to learn more.

Comision Federal de Electricidad or CFE is the government-owned energy company in Mexico. CFE is the only provider of energy for all of Mexico. Unfortunately, this means your rate is dictated by CFE. Therefore, you can’t shop around for the best or most competitive rate.

This article was updated in January of 2023.

Why is electricity so expensive in Mexico?

The energy market is controlled by CFE. This means, without competition, rates are dictated by one company. CFE has divided the entire country of Mexico into different areas with different electric rates. Since different regions of Mexico are hotter than others, the rates tend to be lower in these areas.

Surprisingly . . .

Higher rates exist in areas that are cooler. Whether this makes sense or not, this is the way it is. The more power you use, the more you will pay. For most people living a simple life, this means energy is more affordable.

Foreigners that are used to using air conditioning all the time pay more. Then, the range of expense will depend upon two main factors:

  • infrequent, regular or over-use of air conditioning
  • being conscientious about turning items off when leaving a room

It can be a hard adjustment to get used to the climate change so take your time and pay attention to little things that can add to your electricity bill.

CFE location in Merida Mexico

How to pay your CFE electric bill in Mérida Mexico

In the past, you could only pay an electric bill in Mérida by going to CFE directly. Fortunately now, you have the option to pay online. There are also many establishments where you can pay your bill.  BUT, don’t make the assumption that if your online payment worked the first time that it will work the second time. This is not a country of convenience, so be patient.

  1. If you want to pay via U.S. credit or debit card:
  • Online accepts most debit and credit cards although it may take you a time or two for it to process.
  • Xoom App or
  • Mercado Pago App
  • UnDosTres App
  • Pagamobil App
  • Cuenca App or Cuenca visa card
  • App

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2. If you have a local bank account, you can set it up through your local bank.

3. Other establishments where you can pay in person include:

  • Grocery stores such as Superama, Wal-Mart, Soriana, and Chedraui (and others)
  • Convenience stores such as OXXO and Extra
  • Department stores such as Coppel
  • Pharmacies such as Farmacias del Ahorro

Understanding CFE rates and electric bills in Mérida

Your bill has finally arrived. WOW . . . it contains a plethora of information. Once you understand the different parts of the bill, you will feel more confident, step by step, to pay your electric bill in Mérida.

The CFE bill explained – Part One

1. Nombre y Domicilio – the name and address that the account is registered under. If you open an account with CFE, make sure this matches your passport. If you are renting, make sure the name on the lease contract matches your landlord’s name on the utility bills.

2. Total a pagar – the total amount due.

3. Numero de servicio – your contract or account number.

4. Fecha limite de pagothe last day to pay the bill. It is very common that CFE turns off your power the next business day. If you are close to the deadline, it is best to pay your bill in person.

5. Tarifa – the base rate billed per kilowatt hour.

6. Num. de Medidor – the meter number.

7. Lectura Actual – the actual meter reading on the day it was read by the CFE employee. Lectura Anterior – the reading from the last bill cycle.

5 edison light bulbs suspended on black cords on a blue background

The CFE bill explained – Part Two

8. Consumo – the amount of energy consumed. The difference between Lectura Actual and Lectura Anterior.

9. Periodo Consumo – the service dates for the bill, how many days in the cycle, average daily kilowatt usage and the corresponding average daily according to the Tarifa amount.

10. Apoyo gobuernamental – details any subsidy you receive. If you are in a level 1 billing category, the government provides support in this area.

11. Facturacion – the billing details. The billing is broken down by kw/h and priced according to the different levels of Tarifas.

12. Importe de la facturacion – the account balance breakdown including IVA percentage (sales tax). It details the last amount owed and the current amount owed.

13. Barcode – you need this information when paying through a registered third party or directly from your bank’s website. This section is critical. To pay the bill, you need to enter a Referencia and a Concepto. The Referencia are the first 20 digits below Numero de Servicio. The Concepto are the last 10 digits.

14. Detalle de Operaciones – the account summary for the previous 12 months.

15. Observaciones – notes where your consumption warning is, if it is high.

16. CFE registered 3rd parties where you can pay your bill.


What is DAC in Mexico?

The dreaded DAC. UGH, just the sound of this gives me the cold chills (and not in a good way)!

If you’ve spent any time in Mexico, you will no doubt, have heard of DAC. DAC stands for Domestica de Alto Consumo or domestic high consumption. When you are in the DAC rate,  you pay more for your electric bill in Mérida. I’ve heard different neighborhoods are subject to the higher DAC rate too.

The negative things about being in DAC:

  • You pay more.
  • The government subsidy for your electricity does not apply to your bill.
  • DAC rates apply for 12 months.

DAC rate applies when the average bimonthly consumption exceeds 2,500 kw/h for the billing cycle. In other words, keep your usage below 1,250 kw/h month to stay out of DAC. Be sure to inquire if the house you rent is in the DAC rate. If so, then you may want the bill to transfer into your name. Once this happens, then the billing classification resets. Alternatively, be sure to look at past history to determine the best time to switch the account. However if you are a renter, this is not an option.

electric bill in Mérida


Whether you have a bill in hand or not, you are still responsible for paying it. What happens if you don’t receive your electric bill in Mérida? The best advice, do one of two things:

  1. Go directly to CFE with the meter number to find out how much you owe.
  2. Register your account on their site to download a PDF of each bill each cycle.

7 Energy Conservation tips for your CFE bill in Mexico

  1. Use air conditioning sparingly and only when you need it.
  2. Clean A/C filters or have your mini-splits maintained on a regular basis. Maintenance before hot weather is helpful.
  3. Use energy-efficient light bulbs. Older light bulbs give off heat and use more energy too.
  4. When you need appliances, be sure to look at the yearly energy consumption. Refrigerators consume the most electricity. The yellow tag on the front of the refrigerator shows energy consumption.
  5. Use fans before air conditioning. Good fans move a lot of air. Notably, this is helpful to both adapt to the climate and regulate the overall temperature.
  6. Keep the refrigerator and stove separate. Making sure the refrigerator is not in direct sunlight helps too.  Ensure there is enough room around this large appliance to allow heat to escape.
  7. Use appropriately sized appliances, air conditions, and pool pumps.

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11 House Details that reduce the cost of electricity in Mérida Mexico 

  1. Concrete blocks or momposteria (limestone rocks used in construction) insulate houses very well.
  2. High ceilings help circulate hot air upward so keep these in mind when considering a rental or purchase.
  3. Lighter colored walls 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.
  4. Clean fans to make them work more efficiently. Frequent use causes dust and oil buildup.
  5. A vent above the stove helps to evacuate hot air better.
  6. Close curtains during the day to block out the sun. Invest in curtains with sunblock helps tremendously.
  7. Open windows at night to allow cooler air to circulate through the house.
  8. Houses on odd-numbered streets get more cross breeze than even-numbered streets. Houses facing north will receive even more breeze.
  9. Clearly, gas dryers are much cheaper to run than an electric dryer.
  10. Along with cleaning the seals on the door, do the same on the back of the refrigerator for maximum efficiency. Don’t put hot food in the refrigerator either.
  11. When possible, ask to see the previous bills. Of course, everyone has different usage. It’s best to know upfront if you will be paying the higher DAC rate upfront.

Edison lightbulb laying on green grass helps pay electric bill in Mérida

Final Thoughts on How do I pay my electric bill in Mérida

There’s no doubt about it, electricity is the most expensive utility in Mérida Mexico. The green and white CFE bill arrives and causes a lot of confusion. Is this on purpose? Maybe, but this is Mexico, and learning all you need to know is part of the adventure.

Many Mérida residents, especially in the small pueblos and colonias, don’t own a refrigerator, have a washing machine or air conditioning. Hammocks provide a breezy way to relax with constant airflow. Radios, televisions, and a string or two of Christmas lights to honor the Virgin are the most energy consumption many people have.

It’s important to note . . .

Your CFE bill also plays an important role in acting as an ID. Subsequently, many government agencies require you to have a copy of it for other services. Also, businesses like banks and internet companies use the CFE bill to confirm your address. Save the bills and make current copies for when opening other accounts or even immigration.

Yes, CFE magically arrives at the rate of your electric consumption. But, all in all, the cost of living in Mérida is still quite low compared to other cities of 1,000,000 people. Hopefully, this article provides some insight into understanding this service in Merida.

See also 11 of the Best Mérida Mexico Long Term Rentals (the Tips You Wish You Knew Sooner)


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