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Rollout of prepaid electricity meters continues<p>The areas which will be upgraded next include Bellville South, Manenberg, Bonteheuwel, Langa, Crossroads, Steenberg and Hanover Park. The programme has been running across the city for the past seven years.</p><p>The meter replacement programme is free of charge to residents. The order in which areas benefit is determined based on the number of electricity meters in need of replacement. The programme is currently being rolled out in several different areas across the city. For the programme schedule, please visit <a href=""></a></p><p>Council recently decided that the meter replacement programme be declared mandatory to improve revenue collection and to reduce future maintenance costs.</p><p>‘Our meter replacement programme has many benefits for residents. A prepaid meter puts the power in the homes and hands of the customer as it enables them to have more direct control over their usage and household budgeting is made easier as the meters show consumption clearly. It helps to eliminate the chances of month-end electricity account shocks. The chance of electricity supply being cut off due to non-payment is also eliminated and the risk of meter failure is reduced when a prepaid meter is installed.</p><p>‘One of the biggest advantages of switching to a prepaid meter is that it enables qualifying customers the opportunity to move to the subsidised Lifeline Tariff. This makes it possible for them to access financial aid and free units. This will help to keep monthly household utility costs down and provides some much needed assistance to our more vulnerable residents.</p><p>‘It is also important that the City invest in the maintenance and replacement of older electricity infrastructure to thrive and become more resilient. Credit meters are more than 30 years old and require replacement to avoid inaccurate readings.</p><p>‘Contrary to some of the urban myths that exist, electricity is not more expensive via a prepaid meter. It actually enables customers to limit or reduce their usage directly and manage their household expenditure. We encourage customers to join others in making the switch and reaping the potential rewards,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy and Climate Change, Councillor Phindile Maxiti. </p><p><strong>How it works</strong></p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">A contractor appointed by the City will do a mail-drop at each targeted customer’s address once that area is reached requesting that they make an appointment at a time convenient to them. </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">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.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">When the municipal worker or contractors arrives at a resident’s home, they must carry a work order number specific to that dwelling and a City-issued identification card. Residents should ask to check the official identification card before allowing anyone onto their property.</div></li></ul><p>‘The identification card must display the City logo, the name and surname of the staff member or mandated contractor, and must contain an embedded photo of the staff member or mandated contractor. Residents are not to allow anyone onto their premises until they have verified these details. Our residents should always be vigilant when allowing anyone into their homes,’ said Councillor Maxiti.</p><p>The new prepaid meter will be located outside on the street, with an in-house display inside the customer’s home. Locating the meter outside the premises allows the City easy access to the meter. </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:50%;"><strong>MYTH</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:50%;"><strong>TRUTH</strong></td></tr><tr><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>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">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">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">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>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">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">You pay more per unit when you use electricity in winter months or during 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><strong></strong> </p><p><strong>End</strong></p><p><br></p>2020-10-21T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#b195be29-9300-4dc7-ac99-92629ce847ac;L0|#0b195be29-9300-4dc7-ac99-92629ce847ac|electricity;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#cba85675-b9a1-4214-8d4c-fe08ec42a018;L0|#0cba85675-b9a1-4214-8d4c-fe08ec42a018|contractor10

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