The Benefits of prepaid electricity for South African communities

by | Sep 1, 2022

Although 84.39% of South Africa’s population has access to electricity, many households struggle to pay their monthly electricity bills, making it difficult for utility companies to sustainably supply electricity.

What is the solution here?

A study of pre-paid electricity use in Cape Town found that people who switch to pre-paid meters reduced their usage by 12%! Although customers use less electricity, prepaid meters actually help the municipality bring in more money as people pay up front. It’s a win-win!

What are the advantages of prepaid meters for you?

Prepaid meters allow consumers to better manage and monitor daily usage. With utility costs on the rise and many people experiencing financial pressures, prepaid is one way to only use what you can afford.

1. Eliminates municipal service charges:
you will no longer be required to pay a service charge for meter reading or network charges, and other billing-related expenditures.

2. Cost saving:
You can monitor and control your consumption and take steps to use electricity more efficiently.

3. Enhanced customer service:
Billing queries will be eliminated and real time outage detection will allow the municipality to respond faster to faults in the field.

4. Reduced theft and fraud:
Anti-tampering technology will report malfunctions and detect meter bypassing, ensuring no-one is stealing your electricity and you’re not getting charged more than you should be.

What are the advantages of prepaid meters for landlords?

Private sub-metering allows landlords or building managers to install prepaid water and electricity sub-meters in any lettable space, so that they can recover the costs for these utilities on a prepaid basis. While the landlord still remains responsible for the overall municipal bill, sub-metering gives them the ability to recover the costs of utilities consumed from tenants.

– A prepaid meter eliminates the risk of the landlord being stuck with a massive utilities bill if the tenant doesn’t pay.

– Landlords or building managers can offer tenants the convenience of purchasing top-up vouchers from most retailers and all banking apps.

– Smart security measures eliminate meter tampering. This is a worry for landlords, because the meter owner is responsible for paying the municipal fine for an illegal connection, in addition to being saddled with a back bill that estimates usage from the tampered meter.

What are the advantages of prepaid meters for sectional title schemes?

ST schemes can vastly improve their cash flow management. Prepaid electricity helps improve cash flow in a sectional-title scheme as it is paid upfront by the owners or tenants before the bill arrives from the municipality, reducing the risk of non-payment which could result in the municipality terminating services to the scheme where bills stack up.

What are the advantages of prepaid metering for municipalities and power utilities?

Switching to prepaid meters actually results in better payment recovery, lower debt collection costs, and earlier payments for the utility company. The municipality also sheds the costs associated with meter reading, bill preparation, and enforcement from disconnecting non-paying customers – it’s a win-win for all involved.

Long story short?  Prepaid meters can play an important role in helping homeowners control their electricity consumption and their monthly utility costs, while making it simpler for municipalities to manage service provision.

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Article by

Vincent Gaemers
Vincent Gaemers is the Growth Lead at Home+. He breathes the Home+ brand and his mission is to deliver the Home+ knowledge to our customers.
Vincent Gaemers
Vincent Gaemers is the Growth Lead at Home+. He breathes the Home+ brand and his mission is to deliver the Home+ knowledge to our customers.

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