Wednesday, July 17, 2019

pennies from heaven

I have never been part of the "I-moved-to-Mexico-to-save-money" crowd.

And that is good. If saving money on living expenses had been my goal, my trip south would have been a gigantic failure. During the last eleven years here, I have spent about 80-90% of what I would have spent had I stayed in Salem.

Maybe that is why I can better appreciate the little economic grace notes that enter my life. One came yesterday.

Every two months, a representative from CFE (the state-owned provider of our electricity) slips my two electricity bills under my front door. For about a year, the two combined bills ran just over $5,000 (Mx). That is the monthly equivalent of $130 (US) -- and less than my monthly electricity bill in Salem when I left over a decade ago.

Yesterday my CFE bills arrived. For the second billing period, my bills were $41 (Mx) and $42 (Mx) -- the minimum amount for my connection to the electrical grid. In effect, I am now paying $2 (US) each month for electricity.

Those of you who have been following the construction on my roof this year know the reason why. It is not that Mexico has decided that electricity is a common good that does not require individual contribution. Nope. It is just the opposite. Old-fashioned personal initiative.

I had long toyed with the idea of installing solar panels at the house with no name. The proposals did not pan out economically for me. Based on my CFE bill and the cost of panels three years ago, it would have taken me over twenty years to recover my capital investment. The fact that the life of solar panels is only 18-20 years made that proposal foolish.

However, as every grade school student can tell you, if you alter the divisor or dividend in a division problem, the quotient will change. In my case, both changed. My monthly bill went way up and the cost of solar panels plummeted. I figured I could now recover my capital investment in three or four years. So, up went the panels.

I now receive CFE bills lower than the price of a good breakfast at Rooster's.

I may not have moved here to save money, but savings seem to search me out. 

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