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Georgia


Jan 3, 2009, 4:08 PM

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Dec. Electric Bills and Solar Power

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Every year at the end of the year we get a zinger of an electric bill: this year we were gone for 25 of the 60 days of the cycle and were unabashedly presented with a bill of more than 9000 pesos. Other gringos in our area (El Chante) reported unusually high bills - and higher kwh recorded - this billing cycle as well. The same thing happened last year. Several people went to CFE to complain: well, the girl's shoulders must have hurt her by the end of the day from shrugging at the complaints. Anyone else have this experience?

Bottom line: we are considering installing a whole house solar system that connects to the grid and will, if we produce more than we use, result in our meter actually going backwards. I heard from a friend while we were gone that there was a meeting on this topic and that several people in the Lakeside area have gone solar. Also, I was told that there is a local business that does these installations.

So, I figure at this rate, should I fulfill my life expectancy based on actuarial standards, it would pay to invest in a solar system. (I see rates going up anyway, so the payback will probably be sooner rather than later.) Anyone out there have any information on anyone who has a system or who installs them?



Georgia


Jan 3, 2009, 4:13 PM

Post #2 of 17 (8210 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Dec. Electric Bills and Solar Power

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I should also note, that lest people think I am being neurotic about getting zinged Lakeside, that my electric bill for my apartment in Tlaquepaque which has a refrigerator, an electric range, lights, etc. was 43 pesos for the same two months.


bournemouth

Jan 3, 2009, 4:20 PM

Post #3 of 17 (8206 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Dec. Electric Bills and Solar Power

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We have artist friends in Tonala who swear that we get outrageous electric bills in the Lake Chapala area. You hear enough stories of this kind, Georgia, to know that strange things go on.


(This post was edited by bournemouth on Jan 3, 2009, 4:21 PM)


Carol_Wheeler

Jan 3, 2009, 4:53 PM

Post #4 of 17 (8201 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Dec. Electric Bills and Solar Power

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The late Bob Lamont, who founded and authored the Lloyd Economic Report, wrote a book filled with cool and innovative ideas for Mexico.

He was a strong champion of solar and wind power. However he said that Mexican law limited the production of electricity to the Comision Federal de Electricidad and its counterparts in other areas of Mexico.

I don't know if that's still the case, but Jalisco is offering all kinds of support for green architecture.

Electric bills vary hugely here in Guadalajara. I live in a 2 BR/2 BA apartment with 3 TVs, 3 computers (2 are laptops) in use, a new refrigerator designed to be energy-efficient, a washer, dryer heated by gas, energy-saving light bulbs and assorted electric goodies: hair dryer, blender, crock pot and electric shaver being the most used. We're very careful about turning things off. I pay right around 2,000 pesos every two months. We're a family of 3 adults.

A friend lives in a large 4 BR/4 BA house built in the mid 1950s. She has essentially the same "stuff," but an older side-by-side fridge, and keeps the TV on all day to keep her company. She pays less than $800 pesos for the same time period. There are 5 adults living in her home.

The CFE is ISO certified, but it's really puzzling how the bills are figured.
: (


(This post was edited by Carol_Wheeler on Jan 3, 2009, 4:55 PM)


Georgia


Jan 3, 2009, 5:11 PM

Post #5 of 17 (8195 views)

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Re: [Carol_Wheeler] Dec. Electric Bills and Solar Power

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Information provided at a meeting about a month ago Lakeside was that CFE now permits solar installations that can be connected to the grid and feed excess power back to CFE.


johanson


Jan 3, 2009, 5:34 PM

Post #6 of 17 (8193 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Dec. Electric Bills and Solar Power

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I have such a system and my meter sometimes runs backwards. Really folks understanding your electric bill is really simple especially with a minimum amount of Spanish. It is all explained at

http://www.cfe.gob.mx/...iente/conocetutarifa

That said, I sure as heck didn't understand how CFE worked the first couple of years I was lakeside until I read and re-read the link above and visited the offices and talked to employees at the CFE office

Remember that we are in the area that is charged at tariff rate 1 which starts at $.663 pesos per KWH. However should you use more than an average (over 12 months) of 250 KWH per month which is next to nothing, you are no longer charged at the tariff 1 rate but at the DAK rate which charges 5 times as much for each and every KWH one uses as does one pay for the first 75 KWH at the tariff 1 rate.

Now that I finally understand the CFE methods of billing, any time I have checked my meter and my electrical usage, what I have been charged is in accordance with the data shown at the URL shown above.


(This post was edited by johanson on Jan 3, 2009, 6:18 PM)


Georgia


Jan 3, 2009, 6:09 PM

Post #7 of 17 (8184 views)

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Re: [johanson] Dec. Electric Bills and Solar Power

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What I don't understand is how one of our two meters showed three times the normal kwh usage at a time when we basically weren't here and no one used the area that feeds into that meter. I just don't buy it. As a matter of fact, I don't want to continue to buy it. Tell me about your solar power system and how/who installed it when. Reply privately if you wish. I'm ready to charge them instead of the other way around. I understand my bill perfectly well --- and that is the problem. We have been ripped off. I don't know how they do it, but they did.


johanson


Jan 3, 2009, 6:48 PM

Post #8 of 17 (8176 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Dec. Electric Bills and Solar Power

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You might have a partial short. If I were you, I would be turning breakers on and off and reading the meter out on the street, trying to figure out which circuit was using all of the KWHs. Once I identified the circuit, I would use a device called a Kill-a-watt meter and figure out how much anything plugged in was using. with that device you could measure the KWH per unit of time for each of your appliances etc uses. And of course, if all of your breakers were turned off and your CFE meter were still turning, then I would be very worried about a short or someone stealing your power. To learn about the meter mentioned above, enter "kill-a-watt electric usage monitor" including the parentheses into your favorite search engine.

I would not recommend the company I used to install my photo-voltaic panels, they no longer work lakeside. However I would recommend you talk to Json pronounced Jason. who works in this area. His cell # is 331-332-2763. Although he is originally from the states he is bi-lingual.


Georgia


Jan 3, 2009, 7:43 PM

Post #9 of 17 (8169 views)

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Re: [johanson] Dec. Electric Bills and Solar Power

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Pete, This is a problem that only occurs at the end of the year (can you spell "aguinaldo"?). Our usage isn't different. We've had two electrical engineers and a score of electricians. We've rewired and put in our own transformer. Anyone who tries to tap into our electric at this point will get fried. This is not just MY problem; several others here have experienced the same issue.


johanson


Jan 3, 2009, 8:04 PM

Post #10 of 17 (8164 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Dec. Electric Bills and Solar Power

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I now understand what you are saying, Georgia. Sorry I did not understand earlier. I wish I could give you more information on who to talk to about the panels other than just the first name Jsun and his cell # but I came up to Seattle Tuesday and only have my laptop with me. I'm sitting in my heated condo, visiting relatives etc, etc., and wishing that my trip were less than 3 weeks long. It's cold up here.


whistler

Jan 3, 2009, 8:08 PM

Post #11 of 17 (8162 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Dec. Electric Bills and Solar Power

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the meters dont lie. check the meter against your bill. if the reading matches the bill, the electricity was used. you then need to figure out where it is going, post meter. There must be loads, not yours, that are using the power. It is really simple, logical, and the electric utility cannot trick you because the meters are accurate.


whistler

Jan 3, 2009, 8:09 PM

Post #12 of 17 (8161 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Dec. Electric Bills and Solar Power

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one possiblity is that for many previous bills your usage was estimated, too low. then at the end of the year is was read and the latest bill trued you up to the reading. You need to compare the bills with the meter reading


Georgia


Jan 4, 2009, 7:44 AM

Post #13 of 17 (8128 views)

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Re: [whistler] Dec. Electric Bills and Solar Power

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Sorry. I just don't buy this explanation, especially when the number of kwh increased inexplicably in the last two months for so many people I know here. Did we all suffer the same problem at the same time?? I doubt here. We are talking triple the normal number of kwh.


Georgia


Jan 4, 2009, 7:46 AM

Post #14 of 17 (8125 views)

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Re: [whistler] Dec. Electric Bills and Solar Power

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We always do the comparison because our bills are ridiculous to start with. When we installed our own transformer (in other words, our own electric substation) CFE told us our rate, or tarifa, would drop per kwh. It did not. They changed their minds. When I went to complain about this bill and I mentioned our substation I was asked why I didn't apply for the lower tarifa! They are, at the very least, capricious.


Georgia


Jan 17, 2009, 6:16 PM

Post #15 of 17 (8019 views)

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Re: [whistler] Dec. Electric Bills and Solar Power

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Nope. The meters don't lie when they are manually advanced. And that appears to be what happens. This explains why you see a number of meters with "cages" around them: it is to prevent tampering with the meters by the CFE employees. It is done. We had every utility in our house checked by a former employee of CFE and there is nothing shorting, nothing going to ground and he agreed that our bill was an impossibility. When asked how this could happen, he just smiled and suggested a protective cage around the meter. He never said that the meters were advanced, but his message was clear.


sioux4noff

Jan 17, 2009, 6:55 PM

Post #16 of 17 (8013 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Dec. Electric Bills and Solar Power

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We put a cage around our electric meter and cut-off switch after someone hooked into our power after the meter. When connecting or disconnecting, they shorted the wires, fried our disconnect switch and knocked out the power for the block. We had to replace the disconnect switch and get a new meter to get power back for our house. Hence - the cage.
I wonder how / when / and mainly why CFE employees would advance the meters?


Georgia


Jan 17, 2009, 7:05 PM

Post #17 of 17 (8011 views)

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Re: [sioux4noff] Dec. Electric Bills and Solar Power

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Well, for one, corruption. If they up the take, everyone shares. I just went to pay my tax bill, the beloved "predial" on a condo I own. They are dunning me for the construction permit payment - if I can't prove it was paid, I must pay it. I did not construct the condo. Most gringos pay it. I refused. Went to the contractor and he gave me copies of the paperwork. Told me they had it all in their computers and just pocketed the extra money when they collected it from people who don't complain. Corruption is a way of life in the beaurocratic world here. The nice thing is, it's democratic.
 
 
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