About this Website
Whether you are visiting, renting or buying a house in Mexico, you probably have questions and concerns about the electricity. I have lived in San Miguel de Allende now for 10 years - rewired two houses, and assisted with the electrical design and installation in a new house. I think I have seen the best and worst of electrical wiring here. This website covers three of the most important topics, and the book details much more.
Most residential sockets (contactos) are not wired with the earth ground connection, so you may need some two prong to three prong plug adapters.
There are two different schemes for bringing power to your house: 2 phase 120/240 VAC as in the US and 3 phase 127/220 VAC. Both are 60 cycle. These voltages are compatible with US appliances so a power adapter is not needed.
You may be surprised that in Mexico there are three different ways of connecting 3-way (escalera) switches. One of these is the US standard, and the other two are not. The most common of these is downright dangerous as it leaves the lightbulb sockets "hot" 50 percent of the time when the circuit is switched off.
The cost of electricity is not cheap in Mexico, and CFE, the state electric company encourages you to lower your consumption by offering two different residential rates: tarifa 1 and tarifa 2. Both are somewhat graduated. Tarifa 1 is much lower than tarifa 2 for low usage, but becomes punishingly higher if your consumption per meter exceeds 250 kWh per month. By using multiple meters and balancing the load between them, you can cut your bill by a factor of two to three!
The information on this website and much more is contained in a downloadable PDF Ebook available for a nominal charge. If you are interested in seeing the contents and/or ordering a copy, please follow the link to the right.