When you move to Mexico to live, or you’re living here in your own home —rented or purchased— you will need to organize and pay for essential utilities, and get yourself connected to the internet via landline and/or a wireless service.
Some house rentals include the cost of some (or all) utilities in the monthly rent, but most long term rentals don’t include utility costs and require you to pay for most or all utilities separately.
This article summarizes the principal utility costs in Mexico with references to sites that show current rates and prices for utilities and communication services.
Electricity costs in Mexico
Electricity bills in Mexico are dispatched every two months. The electric company is very efficient at sending out technicians to cut your supply off if you are late with payment. If you have a new-style electronic meter, your service can be cut off remotely, without the need for a technician to visit the property.
Current prices: You can find the current rates from this page on the CFE’s web site (Spanish). Choose the “Domesticas – 1” option for residential electricity prices.
Domestic gas costs in Mexico
Some properties in larger towns or cities can be supplied with gas from a main-feed network in the area that distributes natural gas directly to homes. However, most residential homes in Mexico use liquefied petroleum gas—a mixture of propane and butane and called Gas LP.
LP gas can be delivered in portable tanks, which are replaced when empty, or pumped from a large tank on a truck into a smaller stationary tank located on a roof, or at some other safe outdoor location on the property.
Current prices: You can find gas prices by region on this official website. The form asks for your state, city, and municipality. When you submit the form, you’ll be presented with two tables: one for the price of gas per liter—for stationary tanks and mains-fed gas; the second with price of gas per kilo. Portable tanks come in various sizes; the most common is the 30kg tank that equates to about 55 liters of LP gas.
The cost of water in Mexico
How you pay for your home’s water supply will depend on how the water is delivered to the property. Water in Mexico is delivered via mains-feed, or a communally run feed from local water springs, or a combination of rain collection and local water delivery by truck.
You’ll also need to consider water for drinking—most people use filters to purify the water that comes to their home before drinking it or buy pre-filtered water in 20-liter bottles. See the references below for details about this.
Current prices: Prices for mains-fed water vary by region, city and even neighborhood. Communally run systems usually charge an annual fee. Water trucks charge per delivery, usually 5,000 or 10,000 liters, and prices vary by location and by season. For an average residential home you ought to budget for around $500 pesos per month if your water is mains-fed; $500-to-$1000 pesos a month for communal systems; and around $800-$1000 pesos per 10,000 liters of water taken to your home via water delivery truck.
Telephone, internet, and mobile phones
Mexico offers a choice of communication service providers offering fixed line, mobile, mobile data, and satellite communications services.
Fixed line communications
Fixed-line telephone and cable services are widely available across towns and cities in Mexico, although some rural areas may rely on mobile communications only. Monthly fixed-line monthly package fees include all telephone calls across Mexico and to most (but not all) countries around the world—as well as unlimited high-speed internet.
Packages and prices: Package prices start at around $400 pesos a month but can rise to $1,000 pesos a month or more if you want higher internet speeds, and/or more channels in the case of Cable TV services.
Mexico has an extensively developed mobile phone network and several mobile phone companies competing for customers. You can choose a monthly contract, that usually includes the cost of a phone, or you can choose a ‘pre-pay’ phone plan that you top up each month, without being tied to a contract.
Packages and prices: Mobile phone packages include a monthly data allowance, and all telephone calls across Mexico, the US and Canada. Package offers vary: monthly contracts start at around $200 pesos a month, and ‘pre-pay’ top-ups packages range from $50 pesos to $500 pesos. See the references below for mobile phone companies, connect to their websites and find the latest offers there.
Mobile phone data
You can purchase a special modem and get high speed internet in your home from the mobile data network.
Internet by satellite
If you live in a remote area, or area not served by high speed internet, or you want a backup to your fixed line service, you can get satellite by internet in Mexico, including from Starlink.
Directory of communications companies
These are the principal communication companies in Mexico:
- Telmex (Fixed line internet and phone)
- IZZI (Fixed line internet and phone)
- AT&T (Fixed line and mobile/data services)
- Telcel (Mobile, mobile data)
- Movistar (Mobile, mobile data)
- Virgin Mobile (Mobile, operates using Movistar network)
- Starlink (Satellite)
- HughesNet (Satellite)
- ViaSat (Satellite)
Postal services and couriers
Although the digital age has removed the need for lots of paper envelopes to be sent around the world, there is still a need for paperwork sometimes, and online shopping has made parcel delivery the backbone of the new postal service.
Mexico’s postal service
Despite the ‘bad press’ it receives, Mexico’s postal service is not as poor as many people make it out to be, but it is slow. It is fair to say that the service is more reliable in larger towns and cities than in provincial towns and villages, and it can take weeks for a letter to arrive at its destination, but the post does tend make it to its destination eventually, even to the smaller towns and villages. To send documents and parcels reliably and in timely fashion, must use a courier service—see next section.
Courier and postal delivery services
If you need to send anything physically by post which is time sensitive and/or valuable, you must use one of the courier services available in Mexico as the national postal service cannot be relied upon in these circumstances.
If you order anything from one of the major online shopping portals, they will use a private courier service with trace-able deliveries to send the item(s) to your home.
Couriers offers competitive rates (although shipping rates worldwide have risen significantly), with modern booking and tracking systems that enable you to purchase your delivery service online, have someone pick it up (or you can take it to a local collection agency) and then track its progress online right through to its final destination.
Principal courier companies in Mexico
The major couriers operating in Mexico are:
- DHL Mexico;
- UPS Mexico;
- FedEx Mexico;
- Estafeta (Mexico’s leading national courier service);
- MexPost (this is the courier division of the national postal service).
Communications guide (postal services)
Learn about living costs in Mexico
Mexperience publishes a series of articles about living costs to help you consider your choices, research prices, and create a budget that’s based on your personal lifestyle situation.