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City continues to replace old electricity credit meters free of charge <p>In the current financial year, the City has budgeted R34 million for the voluntary replacement of some 13 000 old credit meters. Last year R29,5 million was spent on this programme. </p><p>Since 2015, when the programme started, more than 22 700 meters have been replaced of the estimated 100 000 aging credit meters that were identified for upgrade.  </p><p>‘It is a voluntary programme so we are dependent on members of the public taking up this offer. Eventually every customer in the city will be supplied via a prepaid meter. Because the operation and maintenance of the electricity service is funded through the electricity tariffs, if residents run up large bills that they are unable to pay, it means that there is a shortfall in the resources necessary to keep the service up and running. </p><p>‘About 25% of the income that we make from electricity tariffs goes toward repair and maintenance of our electricity grid, which includes new substations, power lines and meters, while 10% goes toward the Rates account to help pay for shared services and vulnerable groupings. Lastly, some 65% is used to buy electricity from Eskom. </p><p>‘This replacement programme helps residents to have better oversight of their consumption with an in-home display making budgeting easier. The chances of meter failure and supply loss are also reduced and, furthermore, electricity cuts due to unpaid bills are prevented,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg. </p><p>The meter replacement programme is being implemented city-wide. The order in which areas benefit is determined based on the number of electricity meters in need of replacement. The schedule showing when the programme will reach each area is available on the City’s website <a href="http://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect/Apply/Municipal-services/Electricity/apply-for-an-upgrade-to-a-new-prepaid-electricity-meter" target="_blank">http://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect/Apply/Municipal-services/Electricity/apply-for-an-upgrade-to-a-new-prepaid-electricity-meter</a>. Please note that there is a compulsory and a voluntary programme. The voluntary programme schedule is referred to as the ‘single-phase programme schedule’ on the website. </p><p>Residents may pre-register on the City’s website for when the programme reaches their area. </p><p>Once in an area, a contractor appointed by the City will do a mail-drop at each targeted customer’s address requesting that they make contact to set up an appointment at a time that is convenient to them. Once the appointment has been made, a reference number will be generated. If residents have not received a mail-drop or are in any doubt as to whether this is a legitimate City project, they can contact the City’s call centre on 0860 103 089.</p><p>The new prepaid meter is located outside on the street, with an in-house display provided inside the customer’s property. Locating the meter outside the premises allows the City to more easily access the meter and also to check whether there has been any tampering.</p><p>Once the meter is installed, residents will benefit in the following ways:</p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">No more meter reading estimates</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">No more billing surprises</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Better oversight of consumption with an in-home display, making budgeting easier</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Reduced risk of meter failure and supply loss</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">No more electricity cuts due to unpaid bills</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Ideal for communal renting or leasing, with no more bill disputes with tenants</div></li></ul><p>Residents should also please note that electricity is no more expensive via a prepaid meter than via a credit meter. In fact, installation of a prepaid meter is a prerequisite for access to the City’s subsidised Lifeline Tariff and could allow residents access to this financial assistance and free units should they meet the other qualifying criteria.</p><p><strong>Common myths busted about buying electricity</strong></p><table width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:5%;">​</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:33.33%;">​<strong>Myth</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:33.33%;"><strong>​Truth</strong></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:5%;height:378px;">​1</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="height:378px;">​The amount you pay per unit is different depending on which suburb of Cape Town you are in.</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="height:378px;"><strong>​Your electricity usage combined with your municipal property valuation and/or meter type determines what you pay.</strong><br>The City has three residential tariffs, Lifeline, Domestic and Home User (HU) and, depending on usage, i.e. purchase of less than 450 units per month qualify for the Lifeline tariff dependent on property value; otherwise the Domestic or HU tariffs apply dependent on property value. You will have one of these tariffs applied to your meter not because of the suburb that you live in but based upon the above criteria, of which property value is one of the considerations. Should you have an old-style credit meter, you will be placed on the Home User tariff.</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:5%;">​2</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​You should buy units on the 1st of the month if you want to get the full free units, otherwise the amount you get drops throughout the month.</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​<strong>You don’t have to buy on the 1st of the month to get free units.</strong><br>Free units or free basic electricity is only applicable to customers on the Lifeline Tariff. Two free allocations are applied depending on the average level of consumption: an allocation of 60 units if you use less than 250 kWh per month on average OR 25 units if you use between 250 kWh and 450 kWh per month. Free units are granted on your first purchase of every calendar month, irrespective of when that is.</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:5%;">​3</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​You should buy units on the 1st of the month because the rate per unit increases as the month goes on. </td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​<strong>It isn’t cheaper to buy on the 1st of the month.      </strong>The City has an inclining block tariff which is refreshed every month, so if you only purchase in the first block, you pay the same amount; the higher cost of the second block kicks in once you reach the threshold of the first block.</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:5%;">​4</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​You should buy as many units as you can in one go as they are cheaper in bulk. </td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><strong>​Buying in bulk is not cheaper! Only buy what you need!</strong>You should only buy what you need in a given month – this will keep your costs down. When buying in bulk, you move onto the second block for units above the monthly usage threshold, which is more expensive. So, buying in bulk can be considerably more expensive.</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:5%;">​5</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​You should rather make many small purchases in the month so that you stay within the cheapest block rate with each purchase.</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​<strong>Many small purchases could cost you more!</strong><br>The rate applied on each purchase is dependent on previous purchases in the month (i.e. it accumulates). Once the first block is bought up, you automatically move to the second block irrespective of the number of times you made a purchase.</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:5%;">​6</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​Monthly totals are based on how much you use, not on how many units you buy at a time. </td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​<strong>It is about how many units you buy.</strong> Prepaid meters are not intelligent meters. The meter merely accepts tokens and then reduces as the units are consumed. When buying electricity at a vending station, our computer server determines what has been bought previously in the month and what block rate to apply to the purchase of electricity for the given amount.</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:5%;">​7</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​You pay more per unit when you use electricity in winter months or during the peak hours in the evening.</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​<strong>The price is the same no matter the time or season</strong>.<br>Residential tariffs do not differ according to the time of the day or the year when electricity is consumed.</td></tr></tbody></table><p> </p><p> </p><p><strong>End</strong></p>2018-10-03T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#cc276518-1a17-47ba-990f-978d60f522c2;L0|#0cc276518-1a17-47ba-990f-978d60f522c2|electricity meter;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#0e994e93-10d7-4d22-9cd5-ea3dd0048ffe;L0|#00e994e93-10d7-4d22-9cd5-ea3dd0048ffe|prepaid electricity1

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