Prepaid electricity rates South Africa 2021: how does it work?

Prepaid electricity rates South Africa 2021: how does it work?

Prepaid electricity rates in South Africa have been a bone of contention for a while. Deciphering the South African power distribution billing system and the variations in prices in different parts of the country has caused so much confusion. However, not understanding the system is not something to be ashamed of. This article breaks the details into bits and clears all doubts about prepaid electricity rates in South Africa.

Price of electricity per kWh in South Africa 2021
Eskom prepaid rates. Photo: @Eskom Hld SOC Ltd
Source: Facebook

Before getting into details about prepaid electricity rates in South Africa, it is essential to note that there is no general charge for everyone in South Africa. The tariffs vary from one municipality to the other. While Eskom charges some cities, others are charged by municipalities that pass the bill to their residents. So, does that implore a certain group pays more than the other? Read on for more about prepaid electricity rates in South Africa in 2021.

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Prepaid electricity rates per unit 2021 South Africa

Prepaid electricity rates for users who Eskom directly charges is R158.36 (inclusive of VAT) for every 0-600kWh. However, that statement is not as simple as it sounds. Some customers pay up to three times the stipulated amount. Why so?

There is a steady increase in the demand and usage of electricity in South Africa. As a result, Eskom introduced the Block distribution billing system to counter the demand. Eskom divides its monthly supply into blocks to counter the demand, especially the demand that is not needed. The first block, which is the lowest, costs R158.36, while the second costs R269.17 for any demand above 600KWh.

How do prepaid electricity rates work?

Moving from one block to the next, according to Eskom, is dependent on the usage. Regardless of how many transactions the purchases are spread out over, migration from one block to the next remains untouched. Also, making a large purchase does not matter. Consumers are advised to purchase what they use in a month.

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So, if you made a large prepaid electricity purchase, you would be charged R158.36 if you did not consume more than 600KWh in a month. So, if your monthly consumption exceeds the 600KWh limit, you will automatically move to block 2; therefore, you will be charged R269.17. Your history will be reset at the end of the month, and you will be charged from Block 1.

How much does electricity cost per kWh in South Africa?

electricity price per unit
How much electricity units do you get for R100? Photo: @Tshepo Manogo
Source: Facebook

If you do not purchase electricity directly from Eskom, you could do so through municipalities. Prepaid electricity prices in South Africa differ depending on the municipalities. Nonetheless, these are the fees for some of the cities whose councils are in charge of utility subsidies.

Cape Town

In Cape Town, Block 1 limit is rated at 600 kWh. Power consumption within the Block 1 limit costs R211.52. Consumption above the Block 1 limit costs 291.90.

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Johannesburg

How much is prepaid electricity in Johannesburg? The limit for Block 1 in the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality is 374kWh per month. Electricity tariffs for Block 1 cost R205.62. Any consumption above 374kWh falls under Block 2, and the charges are as high as R303.58. Those affected by the increase in electricity tariffs include the residents of Johannesburg.

How much is kWh in South Africa?

The new rates have stirred a controversy in the country, and most consumers are worried about the consistent increase in electricity prices. On average, the power utility charges R1.40 per kWh if in Block 1 for 20 amps supplies, moving up to R1.59 per kWh. For 60 amp supplies, it charges R1.58 and R2.69 per kWh, respectively.

What is the price of electricity in South Africa?

Electricity tariffs per kwh
How does Eskom charge per kWh? Photo: @Tshepo Manogo
Source: Facebook

On average, a family consumes up to 1000kwh per month. Before the block supplies and the opaque nature of prepaid electricity, this would cost R1,100. However, it currently could translate to R1,500 and R2,000 under Eskom's 20 and 60 amp supplies.

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What is the best time to buy prepaid electricity?

The Block Tariff system is highly unstable. Therefore, many people tend to ask when is the best time to buy prepaid electricity? According to Blom, an energy expert, the best time to purchase electricity is at the beginning of the month since the prices increase throughout the month.

Prepaid electricity rates per unit

Increased electricity rates stirred a frenzy in different parts of the country. Some netizens took to the streets to protest the increased rates. However, Michael Franze, Citiq Prepaid managing director, proposed new measures to cut down the cost since the new prices are a new reality. Michael believes that one of the key measures of surviving the unforeseen hike is by minimizing your consumptions. These are the measures he recommended:

1. Choose power appliances with a favourable power rating

Michael Franze believes in paying attention to the power ratings of appliances when purchasing them. For instance, if you got a 100W bulb and had it on for one week, you would consume close to 17 units of electricity. At a rate of R1.50b, you would cumulatively spend R25.50 in a week. However, better options like a 4W LED energy-saving bulb would consume slightly over 0.6 units; hence, R1.

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Therefore, it is prudent to be cautious about the power rating indicated and preferably go for brands with lower power ratings when purchasing appliances.

2. Use your appliances for fewer hours

Using appliances for fewer hours is another power saving tip to consider. Franze states that alarm systems, fridges, and freezers are the only appliances needed throughout the day. Switching off appliances like TVs and DVD players when not in use helps reduce your power bills.

Prepaid electricity rates South Africa 2021: how does it work?
Choose power appliances with a favourable power rating. Photo: Artem, Cottonbro, Siya (Modified by author)
Source: UGC

This breakdown about the new prepaid electricity rates in South Africa 2021 clears the doubts about the new prices. The recommendations could come in handy in helping a consumer make an informed decision while paying for electricity and measures to reduce their consumption and save some coins.

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DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual situations. Therefore, it should not be used in place of technical and professional advice or help and should not be relied on while making decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

Source: Briefly News

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