Eskom bills explained

Eskom bills include a network and service charge in addition to the cost you pay per unit of electricity.

MyBroadband recently received a complaint from a reader highlighting that when these fees are taken into account, it increases your effective price per unit of electricity substantially.

“What is the network charge for R500 per month? That is a lot of money! And a service charge? Together, that is R668. Nearly R700 per month, before you have even used any electricity,” the reader noted.

Eskom told MyBroadband that these charges cover the cost of its transmission and distribution network and other expenses, including customer service.

According to an Eskom spokesperson, the network charge is based on a customer’s electricity installation size.

They added that the fee is payable whether electricity is used or not, as it recovers the cost of assets that are installed.

Eskom stated that the service fee covers costs associated with administration, meters, meter reading, and billing in addition to customer service costs.

Electricity consumers then pay a fee per unit of electricity (1 kWh) that is region-dependent and varies on a sliding scale, depending on how many kWh are used.

Extract from Eskom bill showing service and network charges
Eskom bill showing service and network charges

For reference, the electricity tariffs for City Power in Johannesburg are summarised below.

City of Johannesburg electricity tariffs
Units used (kWh) Cost per kWh (excl. tax) Cost per kWh (incl. tax)
0 — 500 R1.46 R1.68
501 — 1,000 R1.69 R1.94
1,001 — 2,000 R1.82 R2.09
2,001 — 3,000 R1.92 R2.21
3,001 and above R2.02 R2.23

Now read: Eskom wants South Africans with solar panels to pay more for electricity

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Eskom bills explained