The ‘meter replacement program’ implemented by the City to help users manage their electricity usage and costs will continue this month – all older credit meters will be upgraded to prepaid meters throughout the city.

The new prepaid meter systems are far more user-friendly, allowing residents to purchase electricity and easily input it into the meter using a code.

The program started in 2015 and has since replaced 22 700 meters – in the current financial year a budget of R34-million has been set aside for the voluntary replacement of 13 000 old credit meters.

City Mayoral Committee Member for informal settlements, Water and Waste Service and Energy councillor, Xanthea Limberg, says the City plans to implement prepaid meters city wide.

“It is a voluntary program 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,” Limberg said.

How it works 

A city appointed contractor will do a ‘mail-drop’ at targeted customer’s addresses when in the area. The ‘mail-drop’ will request that the customer makes an appointment to have the upgrade implemented. A reference number will be generated to finalise the appointment.

A detailed schedule of when the upgrade of meters will be available in different areas is available here.

Some areas will also receive compulsory upgrades from the end of October until March 2019.

The new prepaid meter is located outside of the house with an in-house display for customers. An outside meter allows for the city to easily access the meter to check whether there has been tampering.

Limberg explains that the prepaid meters are more cost effective and have a longer ‘lifespan’.

“This replacement program 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,” Limberg said.

Benefits 

Residents of the city are assured that electricity is not more expensive via the use of  a prepaid meter compared to a credit meter.

The City has listed numerous benefits of the prepaid electrical meter.

1. Control over their usage to allow for increased budgeting.

2. Lowering the risks of electricity cuts due to unpaid bills.

3. Reduced risk of meter failure and supply loss.

4. Users no longer have to manage their meter reading estimates.

5. Ideal for communal living or leasing to tenants.

 

Picture: Pixabay

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about social issues, the environment and current affairs.