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Condo Rental - Electricity question

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Condo Rental - Electricity question

I was looking into renting a condo for 3 weeks in September. One of the condos I was looking at was fairly cheap but charged for electricity use. When I questioned the owner about it the response was: "because some guests use the air conditioning all day and night, the cost of electricity is too high, that is why we do not have the electricity included, with moderate use of electricity, the cost is usually from 20 to 30 pesos per day!"

While I understand the thing about some guests running the AC way too much, is the comment about "moderate use" being about 30 pesos a day accurate?

Ont.Canada
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1. Re: Condo Rental - Electricity question

I prefer to pay my own electric because then I have control of how much I use. When the owner adds it to the rent they have to take the worst case scenario & add $300us/mth.

My electric bill Nov thru May with minimal A/C use is 200 pesos/mth. In September the A/C usage will be higher but I think the 1000 pesos/mth would be reasonable if you monitor your usage.

I take a picture of the meter when I move in & monitor usage every week, then another picture before leaving.

Subtract the first reading from the last reading this will give you your total kWh usage. Multiply by 2.5 pesos per kWh & you have your billing.

Edmonton, Canada
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2. Re: Condo Rental - Electricity question

Keep in mind that September is very hot and humid......you wil need some air conditioning.

Puerto Vallarta...
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3. Re: Condo Rental - Electricity question

DId the owner say what a typical electricity bill for that was in the summer? Because September is a very hot month and you might need to run a/c a lot .

Also, it might help to know the size of the unit and whether you can run a/c in the bedroom only. Also what is the ventilation like in the bedroom. If you can manage with a ceiling fan and cross breezes much of the time, the bill will be much less.

Puerto Vallarta...
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4. Re: Condo Rental - Electricity question

Electricity rates in Mexico are not like other countries.

There are 3 levels of KWH cost, the lowest use per month are charged at a heavily discounted rate (in effect a Govt. subsidy for low income families), after a certain level of usage the cost of a KWH goes up to the 2nd level, but the 3rd level of monthly usage is very high, about three times that of the lowest, running AC too much will make that happen.

The problem for condo owners, who are renting, is that CFE (the govt. electricity company) will put you on the highest rate if you go over the second level too much in a period of 6 months, regardless of your actual monthly usage, and it will not go down until you reduce your usage for a 6 month period.

So one renter who wastefully runs AC all day & night, can affect the cost of electricity for the next 6 months.

The system, on one hand subsidises the low income families and punishes excessive usage to conserve consumption of energy.

Shawnee, Kansas
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5. Re: Condo Rental - Electricity question

Great explanation JR.

September is a month where you should have quite a few choices of condos, not to mention good rental rates. So, if I was you I would look for a condo that has A/C but doesn't have a separate charge for it. Of course you would want to be mindful of their bill and not run it unnecessarily.

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6. Re: Condo Rental - Electricity question

The condo I rented had a flat rate addition (i think it was $100) for my 10 day stay if you wanted to use the AC. You could say yes or no to using it. There were plenty of ceiling fans and it wasn't summer-time so I didn't.

In Sept. I would most definitely want AC.

suze

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7. Re: Condo Rental - Electricity question

Twice, I've rented condos for a month. In one case, there was no A/C (big mistake, as it was July and the promised "cross-breezes" did not exist) so electricity was included.

In the other case, the owner asked me to pay for electricity. Similar to the OP's situation, base rental rate was inexpensive but the owner was very fuzzy about how electricity payment would be handled and she didn't explain it thoroughly ---- she estimated $80USD for my stay in April, paid at the end of the rental, and I agreed.

In addition to the CFE system information from JR though, one of the issues with my rental (not the summer one) was how the owner would figure out how much of the cost was mine. Doesn't CFE bill every other month?

In the end, the owners paid for the electricity as I bought some items for the condo (approved by the owners) that I left behind. We called it "even." I think the owner was an inexperienced landlord and decided not to go through the hassle of figuring out how much I owed her and how much she owed me.

It sounds like the landlord of the condo the OP is interested in knows what they are doing and has rented a number of times before so if, there is a mechanism to reflect what the OP would actually use, it might be similar to what Ian is doing. Renting for several months (Ian) and only 3 weeks (OP) is different though. Plus, September is a very different month than renting for several months during the winter. Trying to live in a condo for the month of July (without A/C) was not fun. September wouldn't be either.

suze --- I'm curious as to how your landlord made sure you wouldn't use the A/C. Was it an honor system or did they somehow lock the A/C unit?

This is all good information as when I first rented and was asked to pay for electricity, I thought it was a fluke. Interesting to know how it's handled by various landlords.

Edited: 09 March 2014, 17:11
Puerto Vallarta...
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8. Re: Condo Rental - Electricity question

Forgot that point, the bill comes every 2 months, so most renters have left before the owner knows how much was used. Trying to read a meter and calculate the cost, with all of CEF's formulas would be daunting.

San Francisco...
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9. Re: Condo Rental - Electricity question

That's what I thought too (and I did try to take a picture of the meter, but that was also not easy). It does help if a landlord is very experienced and can explain it in detail to the renter but my owner didn't seem to know how to do it either. Good thing we're talking about it here -- otherwise everyone is flying blind.

Ont.Canada
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10. Re: Condo Rental - Electricity question

The CFE billing is not that complicated anymore, in zone 1B, PV, Jalisco, you are allowed the first 150 kWh @ a rate of .8 pesos/kWh, next 151 to 300 kWh are @ 1 peso/kWh, anything over 350kwh is charged @ 2.8 pesos/kWh. Over 3 times the base rate that most locals would pay.

The first 2 rates are adjusted seasonally but only by about 5% the top rate is fixed.

I have never had a problem getting access to the CFE meter & taking pictures.

Last month we had to move to another condo for 1 month. The contract stated actual electricity used would be deducted from my $500 damage deposit. On our last day they returned $400 of my deposit ! I showed them the two pictures of the meter date stamped & the total KWh used at 2.5 p/kWh for a total of 90 pesos, we called it even at 100 p they agreed with my calculations & returned the other $90. They said it was the first time anyone had ever tracked the CFE usage & normally they just add $100 & call it quits.

BTW they compared my pictures to pictures they had taken on the same days, so they knew exactly how much electricity I had used before they met me & if it had been over the $100 they would have taken more.

It pays to do your due diligence.

On another note, I noticed in the condo we are in now the weekly usage was twice what I would normally pay? By monitoring my meter & not using specific appliance for a couple of days we now know the dryer has a problem & is using waaay to much electricity. Spoke to landlord, guess what ? Last year the dryer was tripping breaker so the local electrician upped the breaker from 15a to a 20 amp breaker. We don't use the dryer anymore!! Using solar drying instead.