Top tips for making the most of your prepaid utilities budget

by | Nov 1, 2022

There are some changes being made to prepaid electricity meters in South Africa in the coming months – here’s what you should know. Along with these important updates, we bring you these quick and simple tips to manage your electricity usage with a trusted brand like Home+.

Manage your electricity usage with a trusted brand

Have you heard? The software for all prepaid electricity meters in South Africa is set to  expire in 2024. What does this mean? Your prepaid metering software must be updated before the expiration date or you won’t be able to recharge your meter with new vouchers. This means you’ll be left in the dark, and load shedding won’t be to blame. and will be left without power supply. 

Myth busted: Switching the geyser on and off does not consume more energy. Heat loss 24 hours after turning off the geyser is only around 10°C, so you’re reheating warm water, not cold.

Did you know? There are more than 570,000 pre-paid electricity meters in the city of Cape Town alone.

In August 2021,  power utility Eskom announced that prepaid meter software would need to be updated nationally, and the project has already started rolling out in Gauteng.  as it is set to expire in 2024.

What will happen when it’s time to upgrade your prepaid electricity meter?

  • You will receive two update codes with your prepaid electricity purchase when your time comes. If you have not received update codes with your electricity purchase, this means you are not yet due for the update. 
  • Update codes will be issued with purchases in areas across the metros in phases in accordance with the area roll-out schedule.
  • Updates to your meter’s software will not impact your electricity usage in any way, as the meter’s calibration is not affected.  

What must you do when you receive the codes to update your prepaid electricity meter?

  1. Enter the first 20-digit update code and wait for it to accept.
  2. Follow this with the second 20-digit update code and wait for it to accept.
  3. Enter your new 20-digit recharge voucher to top up electricity units as normal.

Now that we’ve covered the upcoming changes to prepaid meters in South Africa, let’s take a look at some smart ways to spend less money on prepaid electricity, by reducing the energy consumption in your home.

How can I reduce my prepaid electricity meter consumption?

Looking for ways to slow down your prepaid meter? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve got some great tips to stretch your prepaid electricity budget, without trying too hard.

How to reduce your electricity consumption on laundry days:

  • Use your washing machine on the eco setting or try a cold or 30-degree cycle instead of higher temperatures. You’ll save time and reduce consumption. 
  • Reduce the spin cycle time to its minimum. Less spinning = more save.
  • Only use the tumble drier when absolutely necessary. Line dry as much as possible. 
  • Only wash a full load. If you don’t have enough to fill the machine, try washing by hand instead.
  • Pre-soak stained clothing so that you don’t have to use the heavy wash cycle, which takes more time and energy.

How to reduce electricity consumption on your geyser:

  • Insulate your geyser with a geyser blanket, and insulate the first 1.5 metres of water pipes leading to and from the geyser. 
  • Do not let hot water run unnecessarily. Always use basin plugs in your bathrooms and kitchen. 
  • Use cold water in your bathrooms for quick tasks like washing your hands, brushing your teeth or washing vegetables in the kitchen.
  • Only switch your geyser on for the time it takes to heat the water needed to bathe or shower. Take shorter showers and use less water to run a bath. 

HOT Question –  how long does it take for the geyser heat water?

A 150L geyser will take close on to 3 hours to heat from completely cold water (15 degrees C) to 65 degrees C. Bear in mind that a geyser is seldom heated from completely cold, as not all of the hot water is used at once. 

How long does it take to heat the water in your geyser by 10℃?

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How to reduce electricity consumption on air-conditioning cooling:

  • If you use air-conditioning, put it on a timer or use the sleep mode overnight.
  • Adjust the AC temperature setting a degree or two higher than you normally would. Running your aircon on 22 degrees can make it comfortable, without working the compressor too hard. Each degree increase saves about 10% energy use.
  • Clean or replace filters on air conditioners once a month, and service every six months to ensure that everything is working efficiently. 
  • Close all doors and windows to prevent cool air from escaping. Switch off the AC when you’re not in the room.

How to reduce electricity consumption in the kitchen:

  • Use the dishwasher on the eco/quick/30-degree setting. Pre-rinse your dishes so that your dishwasher doesn’t have to work as hard. 
  • Using appliances like air-fryers instead of your regular hob oven reduces cooking time while using less energy.
  • Consider a pressure cooker as it cooks in about a third of the time it would take to use the oven or stovetop, and you can make and stash soups and stews in the freezer.

    How to reduce electricity consumption in the home office:

    • Switch off your computer at the end of the day and unplug your printer. Don’t leave these in standby mode, as they still draw power on this setting.
    • Only switch on the lights if you cannot see well enough by opening the blinds or curtains. Use a desk lamp instead of a ceiling light.
    • Unplug chargers and other devices when they’re not in use.

    Top Tip: You can buy prepaid utilities like electricity and water right from the Home+ app. It’s safe, simple and convenient. Try it today!

    Interested in learning more about saving money? Take a look at even more tips to reduce your power consumption at home and make sure you know all about these power-hungry appliances that could be eating up your prepaid utilities budget without you even knowing.

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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.

    Share this article

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