Big electricity price shock for Johannesburg prepaid residents possible

Johnatan56

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Messages
29,441
They seemed to stop that around 2018.
And most prepaid meter is basically a smart meter.
Yes, just saying it's flawed to think post paid is really that much more of a risk than prepaid, it's more that prepaid is "easier" to manage for those on a really tight budget.
For me, keeping track of my power usage and having to remember to load up units would be quite annoying. Yes, you do it once a month or so, then playing the game of buying bulk in summer since cheaper than winter, etc., but if I am boiling a kettle or put something in the oven, I don't want to sit there in the dark because I forgot to load some units.
The risk to the municipality really isn't that high, and it should be completely up to the resident whether they want prepaid or postpaid, and meters and their billing system should support both.
 

Lupus

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 25, 2006
Messages
35,785
From the cheapest electricity in the world to this, and then some.
Yup :( thanks to Eskom mismanagement. When I got my first place 14 years ago I was paying R200 a month on electricity. Then I moved into a house and was paying R600 pm still only R200 on electricity but R400 on the capacity and network fees.
Moved back into a complex and was down to R400 a month for years. Now I'm hitting 1000 a month for the same units.
 

Herr der Verboten

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
10,467
Big electricity price shock for Johannesburg prepaid residents possible

Johannesburg residents could soon be paying R200 more for electricity each month, even before they start using it.

This is if a proposed capacity charge for prepaid electricity users in the city comes into effect at the start of July 2021.

According to the Democratic Alliance’s caucus leader in the City of Johannesburg Metro Leah Knott, the charge was approved as part of the the city's budget for 2021/2022 during a recent council meeting.
Awesome. Let's band-aid :coffee:
 

Megapode

New Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2021
Messages
8
So do I, cause all this will do is move more people off the grid one way or another. You can't charge prepaid people before they've even charged up. Especially since a lot of the users R200 is their entire usage, now you're doubling up +adding 9% to their bill?
How does that even make sense? Like for myself that 200 bucks is already a 20% increase + the 9% on the first block and then the 18% on the 2nd block?
So how is that fair?
If your entire pre paid bill is less than R200 a month, you are using very little electricity. I buy 350 units a month, that's the maximum on the cheapest payment band. That costs me nearly 600.

Ok, you're talking about people in poor areas in RDP housing and who don't have electric geysers, microwaves and such. There's a special provision for them. They can pay R200 a month all in for a maximum of 350 units if they allow a 20A main breaker to be fitted and if they have no solar devices other than a single solar geyser.
 

Megapode

New Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2021
Messages
8
Yup :( thanks to Eskom mismanagement. When I got my first place 14 years ago I was paying R200 a month on electricity. Then I moved into a house and was paying R600 pm still only R200 on electricity but R400 on the capacity and network fees.
Moved back into a complex and was down to R400 a month for years. Now I'm hitting 1000 a month for the same units.
Our electricity is still cheap. Unreliable, but cheap. Compare our prices to Germany or the UK or even Rwanda.

And the cost varies across and even within municipalities. Most of Jhb buys from City Power, not directly from Eskom. Ekhuruleni, just down the road, has different tariffs, so does Tshwane.

Even within City Power's area of supply there are different tariffs.

Postpaid users, as you note, pay heavy fixed fees each month before they use a unit. Prepaid users pay more per kw/h but (at present) no flat fees. The irony of this is that the average household running on post paid won't see anywhere near 15% increase in their bill, because the fixed portion of their account is so high relative to actual spend on electricity.
 

|tera|

Master of Messengers
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Messages
25,880
I visited Jozi a short while ago for a few weeks.

My friends have a fairly large home, including large yard. Their electricity bill, also prepaid is beyond insane.

They discussed it with me and said when they lived in a previous place without prepaid their bill wasn't nearly as much.

I've heard the same repeatedly from many people in different areas of the country.

Is there a reason why prepaid is that much more expensive? Are the units flawed or rigged to rip everyone off?
 

Megapode

New Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2021
Messages
8
I visited Jozi a short while ago for a few weeks.

My friends have a fairly large home, including large yard. Their electricity bill, also prepaid is beyond insane.

They discussed it with me and said when they lived in a previous place without prepaid their bill wasn't nearly as much.

I've heard the same repeatedly from many people in different areas of the country.

Is there a reason why prepaid is that much more expensive? Are the units flawed or rigged to rip everyone off?
There's two kinds of prepaid in Johannesburg.

There's where you pre pay the municipality. You pay more per kw/h than post paid users but no flat fees. Unless you are using several 1000 units per month you will come out ahead. This is easily checked. Track your usage and then do the sums according to published City Power tariffs.

Then there's where you rent and your landlord fits a prepaid meter so that you can't run up a huge bill that he has to pay. Typically this is run by a 3rd party who sells you tokens, settles the municipal bills for the landlord and add a service charge.

Suggest to your friends that they record the serial number on the meter and check from time to time. City Power occasionally visit me to check that the right meter is on my stand because there is some scam involving moving pre paid meters around.

I moved to prepaid (municipal) about 5 years ago. It's been a big saver for me.
 

|tera|

Master of Messengers
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Messages
25,880
There's two kinds of prepaid in Johannesburg.

There's where you pre pay the municipality. You pay more per kw/h than post paid users but no flat fees. Unless you are using several 1000 units per month you will come out ahead. This is easily checked. Track your usage and then do the sums according to published City Power tariffs.

Then there's where you rent and your landlord fits a prepaid meter so that you can't run up a huge bill that he has to pay. Typically this is run by a 3rd party who sells you tokens, settles the municipal bills for the landlord and add a service charge.

Suggest to your friends that they record the serial number on the meter and check from time to time. City Power occasionally visit me to check that the right meter is on my stand because there is some scam involving moving pre paid meters around.

I moved to prepaid (municipal) about 5 years ago. It's been a big saver for me.
Thanks for the advice.
It's not just in JHB though.
I've heard complaints about prepaid prices from people on this forum and different towns in the province I live too.

Example: someone used to pay R2K per month on Eskom directly, moving to prepaid they now pay R3K.
 

Megapode

New Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2021
Messages
8
I visited Jozi a short while ago for a few weeks.

My friends have a fairly large home, including large yard. Their electricity bill, also prepaid is beyond insane.

They discussed it with me and said when they lived in a previous place without prepaid their bill wasn't nearly as much.

I've heard the same repeatedly from many people in different areas of the country.

Is there a reason why prepaid is that much more expensive? Are the units flawed or rigged to rip everyone off?
Sorry, I didn't answer all of your question.

In Johannesburg there are various costs involved in supplying a stand with electricity (assuming you are buying from the City)
1) the actual electricity you use (this is on a sliding scale, the more you use, the more you will pay per unit)
2) cost of providing the connection to your property
3) cost of reading your meter and running your account
4) a surcharge on heavy users

(3) clearly does not apply to prepaid.
(2) is taken care of (or used to be) by charging prepaid users more per unit
(4) I assume is built into the prepaid tariffs.

I assume it is similar in other municipalities. In Jhb you score by going prepaid, which is as it should be everywhere because you're paying in advance.

If you have recently switched to prepaid then it is expensive because there is a charge for conversion and you have to pay off the post paid account (30 to 60 days in arrears) whilst feeding the meter. But once you're through that phase then you're smiling.
 

Megapode

New Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2021
Messages
8
Thanks for the advice.
It's not just in JHB though.
I've heard complaints about prepaid prices from people on this forum and different towns in the province I live too.

Example: someone used to pay R2K per month on Eskom directly, moving to prepaid they now pay R3K.
I can only speak in detail re City Power. But it should be easy enough to check what they pay against tariffs.

NB. As I pointed out on another post, your bill goes UP immediately after converting because you have to feed the meter and settle your previous account. But that should only last a month or two.

First step is to check what you use against the tariffs. Read your meter 1st of the month and last day of the month. Now you know what you used. Then use the tariff tables to work out what that should cost you.

NB. Prepaid users often over buy because they don't know how much they'll use. But the excess should sit on the meter as a credit.
 

IdlePhaedrus

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
1,517
I have just checked the 2021/2022 proposed budget for Cape Town and the existing standing charge will be increased to R194.29 (inc VAT) come June for homes valued at > R1M:


I have read the proposed City Power document but it doesn't appear to apply the same sort of methodology regarding properly valuation. Have I read it wrong?

Either way I think the standing charge is BS and should be scrapped country wide regardless.

<edit> - And what is the Embedded Generation Tariff in the City Power proposal for? Is it what they pay you for feeding back into the grid?
 
Last edited:

|tera|

Master of Messengers
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Messages
25,880
I can only speak in detail re City Power. But it should be easy enough to check what they pay against tariffs.

NB. As I pointed out on another post, your bill goes UP immediately after converting because you have to feed the meter and settle your previous account. But that should only last a month or two.

First step is to check what you use against the tariffs. Read your meter 1st of the month and last day of the month. Now you know what you used. Then use the tariff tables to work out what that should cost you.

NB. Prepaid users often over buy because they don't know how much they'll use. But the excess should sit on the meter as a credit.
Thanks for the explanation.

It could be a psychological reason as well. People used to paying a bill at month end versus pre-purchasing.

I've had prepaid at two places I lived. My bill was never above R600.
 

Swa

Honorary Master
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
29,379
Why do people keep mentioning this? Postpaid has an extra month's deposit, and a majority of the time people keep the same power usage or reduce, overall it doesn't really matter for the city while causing hassle for residents.
Our deposit is R100. And that's for the whole account and not just electricity. There is a huge credit risk for postpaid. Munis are struggling to collect charges in a lot of areas. Not only that but they have to pay Eskom at month end while consumers' usage are typically only read later in the month and then you still get a month to pay. Cash flow is typically not set up so they can pay in advance.
 

Megapode

New Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2021
Messages
8
I have just checked the 2021/2022 proposed budget for Cape Town and the existing standing charge will be increased to R194.29 (inc VAT) come June for homes valued at > R1M:


I have read the proposed City Power document but it doesn't appear to apply the same sort of methodology regarding properly valuation. Have I read it wrong?

Either way I think the standing charge is BS and should be scrapped country wide regardless.

<edit> - And what is the Embedded Generation Tariff in the City Power proposal for? Is it what they pay you for feeding back into the grid?
Embedded generation is when you have your own power generation, which must comply with city regulations, and you sell back to the grid.

Thanks, you lead me to check the COCT tariffs. The DA in Jhb have a cheek objecting to a fixed charge for pre paid users because that is what they do in CT, where they run the show, if your property valuation exceeds R1M. Also their pre paid tariff is a lot higher than COJs.

The COJ document does refer to "disadvantaged areas" but a rule based on property valuation would be fairer IMO.
 

Swa

Honorary Master
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
29,379
I visited Jozi a short while ago for a few weeks.

My friends have a fairly large home, including large yard. Their electricity bill, also prepaid is beyond insane.

They discussed it with me and said when they lived in a previous place without prepaid their bill wasn't nearly as much.

I've heard the same repeatedly from many people in different areas of the country.

Is there a reason why prepaid is that much more expensive? Are the units flawed or rigged to rip everyone off?
There's typically two tariffs. A lifeline where you pay a lesser subsidised rate for usage below a certain amount usually 600-700kWh. If you use more than that you pay a higher tariff. Postpaid usually has two different tariffs. One you don't pay a charge but pay more for electricity. The other intended for high usage users you pay a fixed charge but then less for electricity.
 

Swa

Honorary Master
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
29,379
Embedded generation is when you have your own power generation, which must comply with city regulations, and you sell back to the grid.

Thanks, you lead me to check the COCT tariffs. The DA in Jhb have a cheek objecting to a fixed charge for pre paid users because that is what they do in CT, where they run the show, if your property valuation exceeds R1M. Also their pre paid tariff is a lot higher than COJs.

The COJ document does refer to "disadvantaged areas" but a rule based on property valuation would be fairer IMO.
Lesson, don't vote ANC or DA.
 

IdlePhaedrus

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
1,517
Embedded generation is when you have your own power generation, which must comply with city regulations, and you sell back to the grid.
Yes, that is what I thought it was. I have a 3kw solar array, it is legal. In Cape Town. I am on a prepaid meter and don't feed back to the grid because for that size it isn't cost-effective because:
  1. I use around 150 kwh a month, mostly at night. I produce more than I consume, by about 13kwh in mid-summer. Winter is a different story given long stretches of cloudy days.
  2. Single phase embedded generation is capped at 3.5 kw in Cape Town (as opposed to the 3.68 kw allowed by the (amended) NERSA rules) effectively limiting home SSEG to 3kw.
  3. Installing the necessary bi-directional meter for feed-back costs just short of R10K (I cannot find what the charge is going to be in the 2021/2022 budget).
  4. And then a daily charge of around R14 is levied for the pleasure of using that meter which you paid for.
  5. Feed in reimbursement is around 65c per unit, which is cr@p given the actual resale value.
  6. Not allowed to feed back into the grid more than you consume on an annual basis. I suspect that the standing charge falls outside of this as well, so that has probably to be paid regardless (corroboration required). So there is no incentive to feed in anyway.
It would be less expensive medium term to purchase R20K of lithium ion and sit with the standing charge.

In a country where the primary utility cannot supply sufficient energy to keep the lights on 24/7 the above is an absolute travesty. This is a massive bug-bear for me and has been for some time.

The DA in Jhb have a cheek objecting to a fixed charge for pre paid users because that is what they do in CT

I agree, which is why I am not going to vote for the DA this year, after having done it since the 80's. I took this up with my ward councillor in 2016, I have never received a definitive response with regards the DA position on this. And yet I read in the news, often, how well the DA is doing on SSEG where they 'govern'. It is all BullShyte. They are using electricity tariffs to cross-subsidise and protect their bottom line, and they don't give a hoot about climate change.

Further, NERSA has to step up to the plate on this. But I suspect it will be a frosty Friday before that happens.

/rant over.
 

IdlePhaedrus

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
1,517
Lesson, don't vote ANC or DA.

So who does one vote for later this year?

I did include the FF+ in my further communications with the DA last year, but I haven't had a response from them either besides an acknowledgement that it would be "passed up the chain", which is what I got from the DA in 2016.

An official policy document would be good.
 

Megapode

New Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2021
Messages
8
Yes, that is what I thought it was. I have a 3kw solar array, it is legal. In Cape Town. I am on a prepaid meter and don't feed back to the grid because for that size it isn't cost-effective because:
  1. I use around 150 kwh a month, mostly at night. I produce more than I consume, by about 13kwh in mid-summer. Winter is a different story given long stretches of cloudy days.
  2. Single phase embedded generation is capped at 3.5 kw in Cape Town (as opposed to the 3.68 kw allowed by the (amended) NERSA rules) effectively limiting home SSEG to 3kw.
  3. Installing the necessary bi-directional meter for feed-back costs just short of R10K (I cannot find what the charge is going to be in the 2021/2022 budget).
  4. And then a daily charge of around R14 is levied for the pleasure of using that meter which you paid for.
  5. Feed in reimbursement is around 65c per unit, which is cr@p given the actual resale value.
  6. Not allowed to feed back into the grid more than you consume on an annual basis. I suspect that the standing charge falls outside of this as well, so that has probably to be paid regardless (corroboration required). So there is no incentive to feed in anyway.
It would be less expensive medium term to purchase R20K of lithium ion and sit with the standing charge.

In a country where the primary utility cannot supply sufficient energy to keep the lights on 24/7 the above is an absolute travesty. This is a massive bug-bear for me and has been for some time.



I agree, which is why I am not going to vote for the DA this year, after having done it since the 80's. I took this up with my ward councillor in 2016, I have never received a definitive response with regards the DA position on this. And yet I read in the news, often, how well the DA is doing on SSEG where they 'govern'. It is all BullShyte. They are using electricity tariffs to cross-subsidise and protect their bottom line, and they don't give a hoot about climate change.

Further, NERSA has to step up to the plate on this. But I suspect it will be a frosty Friday before that happens.

/rant over.
So the DA in CT actually pay 1c less per resold unit than COJ do!?

COJ have a resellers tariff but, for reasons similar to those you cite, it doesn't pay me to resell so I don't. I'd have to go onto a different tariff, with several hundred rands flat fees per month, pay a couple of grand for the required meter, and then get 66c per unit I give them. I'd lose on that deal, and I have a bigger system.

My gut feel is that municipalities don't really want us to sell back, so they make it theoretically possible but not worth your while.
 

|tera|

Master of Messengers
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Messages
25,880
So who does one vote for later this year?

I did include the FF+ in my further communications with the DA last year, but I haven't had a response from them either besides an acknowledgement that it would be "passed up the chain", which is what I got from the DA in 2016.

An official policy document would be good.
If you decide to change a vote from the DA to any other party, based on electricity issues. Then you're voting for the wrong reasons.

What this country doesn't understand, the DA truly is the lesser evil.

We've had decades of corruption, theft and murder.
The only way to kick the ANC out is for everyone to combine and vote DA.
CT/WC did it and the results are fairly good.

I want to hit someone with a pan when I hear them wanting to vote for FF+ or any other party.
It's a loss of votes.

We need change in this country. Not "feelings" and butthurt voting.

Btw. I'm a white Afrikaans person. The DA leadership could all be black and I'd still suggest voting for them.
The ANC is a cesspool. Always has been and always will be.
 
Top