A household could see an increase of almost 50% as the city works to level pre- and post-paid charges.

Joburg households and businesses using prepaid electricity are in for a shock if the fixed charges proposed in the city’s draft budget are approved.

It was tabled on Friday and stakeholders have until June 23 to comment.

The City of Johannesburg proposes a new R200 basic charge for prepaid residential customers and R400 for prepaid business customers.

That is over and above the increases to existing charges per kilowatt-hour (kWh) used, which are way above the current inflation rate. The proposal is for an 8.1% increase for residential prepaid and 5.8% for business.

In addition, the lowest tariff block for residential prepaid customers would be reduced by 50kWh to 300kWh, meaning that higher tariff blocks will be reached earlier in the month than before.

This means a household that uses 374 units a month will go from paying R527 to R780 per month, excluding Vat, from July 1 if the proposal is accepted – an increase of almost 50%.

Misleading disclosure

This is not properly disclosed in the document published for public comment because, in calculating the average increase per user group, only the increase in charges per kWh used is taken into account.

The city tried to introduce the R200 basic charge for prepaid residential users last year, without even including it in the draft budget, but scrapped the fee after it came to light in the news.

According to a report to the mayoral committee dated March 20 that Urban Utilities has seen, the new charges are aimed at closing the gap between prepaid and conventional users.

It states that the: “Residential prepaid customer currently does not make [an adequate] contribution to the cost of operating and maintaining the electricity infrastructure to ensure its availability on demand. It is therefore proposed to introduce a capacity charge of R200/m for all residential prepaid customers.” (sic)

Closing the gap

If the city gets its way, it will increasingly be closing the gap between residential prepaid and conventional users over the next three years.

Residential users who have been buying electricity on credit are currently paying fixed charges of R527 per month. The city proposes increasing this to R757 per month, in itself a 43% increase.

In its budget document, the city also understates the proposed tariff increase for conventional users at 8.1% by excluding the fixed charges from the calculation.

The introduction of the R400 basic charge for prepaid business customers is also aimed at closing the gap between them and conventional users. In the report to the mayoral committee it is proposed that this be increased by a further R400 next year.

Conventional business users currently pay between R800 and R900 per month in basic charges, with the unit cost only slightly lower than that of their prepaid counterparts.

The report to the mayoral committee states: “Currently customers on business tariff can avoid paying any basic charges by simply converting to the prepaid tariff. The business prepaid customer currently does not make [an adequate] contribution to the cost of operating and maintaining the electricity infrastructure to ensure its availability on demand.”

Proposed increases exceed Nersa guideline

According to David Mertens of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, who has conducted a study of electricity tariffs, the increase the City of Joburg is looking for is well above the Nersa (National Energy Regulator of SA) guideline of 6.22% and will need proper justification.

Mertens says that while the new basic charges will be a shock to customers, they might be justifiable.

He says basic charges in the tariff structure can mitigate the risk of non-payment and electricity theft. If meter tampering results in undercharging, the basic charge will at least guarantee the municipality some income.

Mertens says most municipalities are under-recovering on domestic tariffs “because that is where the votes are” – and Nersa has been allowing it.

This results in other customer groups, especially industry, paying more to subsidise residential users.

“Domestic tariffs should work out around R2.00 to R2.20 per kWh on average and the current tariffs in the City of Joburg are well below that,” he says.

The cost of domestic users

Mertens says the rationale regarding fixed charges is clearly aimed at covering the substantial basic cost domestic users represent for municipalities.

While a fixed charge is in line with cost reflectivity and should be part of the tariff, the amount at which such a charge is set can be debated, he says.

“I think R100 to R150 per month or even R200 per user would not be unreasonable,” says Mertens. “R500 for conventional metering seems very heavy to me, but that might be the right measure to move people to prepaid and to get rid of non-payment.”

Mertens also notes that the City of Joburg has electricity losses of more than 20%, more than double the rate expected from a good distributor. The city would try to compensate for the loss through tariffs, he says.

“The big question is what the city will do to stem the losses and increase efficiency.

“The fixed charge might help in some respects, but the problem is much bigger than that.”

Pricing On Cloud Readings
g
Pricing on Tank Level Management
Pricing On Geyser Management

PRICING

Utility Management

Always know what you’ll pay for accurate water meter readings

12 Months

R1100

PER METERING UNIT

Annual Meter Management

Unit Price

R900

What Is Included

1x Utility Metering Device
Daily Meter Readings
Live Access to property data
Integrated With all Councils
24h Utility support

Monthly

R100

PER METERING UNIT

Monthly Meter Management

Unit Price

R900

What Is Included

1x Utility Metering Device
Daily Meter Readings
Live Access to property data
Integrated With all Councils
24h Utility support

24 Months

R2100

PER METERING UNIT

Bi-annual Meter Management

Unit Price

R900

What Is Included

1x Utility Metering Device
Daily Meter Readings
Live Access to property data
Integrated With all Councils
24h Utility support

Learn more about our Cloud Metering

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

HOW CAN I JOIN URBAN UTILITIES?

You can join Urban Utilites and have your property utilities account managed by simply clicking on the Join Now button, by sellecting your option best suited.

WHAT COST ARE INVOLVED IN JOINING?

The cost structure are divided into 2 main sections:

Monthly Management Fees:
– Monthly fee per meter installed @ R100 p/m

 

Equipment Fees: (once off)
– Water Management Device @ R865 incl
– Electrical Management Device + electrical Kw/h meter @ R2315 incl

The above fees exclude installation fees

HOW WOULD MY METER READINGS BE TAKEN?

Urban Utilities would install a small device on either the (Water or Electrical) infrastructure that would allow us to capture all consumptions through our integrated cloud based network.

HOW DOES IT INTEGRATE WITH MY COUNCIL?

Urban Utilities developed a stable integrated process that integrates with each council, this allows for all the data as collected from the property on either (Water or Electricity) to be provided to the specific council. This all happens on a monthly basis and gets processed directly from the main Urban platform via a automated process.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE INSTALLED TO ALLOW FOR THE AUTOMATED READINGS?
To capture the actual consumption readings live from your property Urban Utilities would need to install a small device on either the (Water or Electrical) architecture that would allow for the actual meter data to be processed into the Urban network infrastructure.

The Urban IoT network is cloud based thus allowing for the installations to be done seamlessly and without any major changes on the property.
90% of the installation is a plug & Play and can be done by any property owner. The other 10% only comes into effect if changes on the property architecture is needed and this would need to be done by either a qualified “electrician or plumber”.

WHERE WOULD I BE ABLE TO VIEW MY PROPERTIES UTILITIES DATA?

Urban Utilities designed a state of the art “National Utilities Portal” that allows for direct interaction between the actual property data, the property owner and the the utilities provider.
This process allows for direct interaction between all parties, thus allow the flow of true and accurate information and utilities data to be processed 24/7 365 days of the year directly from the utilities portal.

Access to the “National Utilities Portal” can be obtained by registering on the national platform
Click here to register and Join Urban Utilities

Storage Tank Management

Storage tank level indication at your finger tips

12 Months

R1200

PER STORAGE TANK / ANNUALLY

Annual Storage Tank Management

Unit Price

R2 265.50 

What Is Included

1x Storage Tank Device
Real Time Storage Tank Levels
Live Access To Storage Tank Data
Integrated Stock Control Process
Full Reporting Platform
Real Time Level Wornings
24h support

Monthly

R100

PER STORAGE TANK / MONTHLY

Monthly Storage Tank Management

Unit Price

R2 265.50 

What Is Included

1x Storage Tank Device
Real Time Storage Tank Levels
Live Access To Storage Tank Data
Integrated Stock Control Process
Full Reporting Platform
Real Time Level Wornings
24h support

24 Months

R2400

PER STORAGE TANK / BI-ANNUALLY

Bi-annual Storage Tank Management

Unit Price

R2 265.50 

What Is Included

1x Storage Tank Device
Real Time Storage Tank Levels
Live Access To Storage Tank Data
Integrated Stock Control Process
Full Reporting Platform
Real Time Level Wornings
24h support

Learn more about our Storage Tank Management

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

HOW CAN I JOIN URBAN UTILITIES?

You can join Urban Utilites and have your tank level account managed by simply clicking on the Join Now button, by sellecting your option best suited.

WHAT COST ARE INVOLVED IN JOINING?

The cost structure are divided into 2 main sections:

Monthly Management Fees:
– Monthly fee per meter installed @ R100 p/m

 

Equipment Fees: (once off)
– Tank Level Management Device
@ R2265.50 incl

 

The above fees exclude installation fees

HOW WOULD MY TANK LEVELS BE MANAGED?

All tank levels are managed through our state of the art IoT “LSM” unit. The unit forms part of the smart level sensing network that transmit all the relevant data into the cloud in realtime, this allows for valuable insight into the current tank status with loads of extra functionalities available to the user.

Read more about this on our product page by clicking here

HOW DOES IT INTEGRATE ON THE NETWORK?

The “LSM” units communicate onto our secure Urban IoT network, this process takes place in realtime to provide accurate and realtime information to the client.

All “LSM” units are free of any wiring and do not need to have electricity to operate, thus they can be implemented completely independently, where ever you need them the most even if its in rural areas.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE INSTALLED TO ALLOW FOR THE AUTOMATED TANK LEVEL MANAGEMENT?

To capture the actual tank level information live from your storage tanks, Urban Utilities would need to install a small device on storage tanks that would allow for the actual data to be processed into the Urban network infrastructure.

The Urban IoT network is cloud based thus allowing for the installations to be done seamlessly and without any major changes in the infrastructure.

90% of the installation is a plug & Play and can be done by any property owner. The other 10% only comes into effect if changes on the architecture are needed and this would need to be done by either a qualified “installer”.

 

Read more about this on our product page by clicking here

WHERE WOULD I BE ABLE TO VIEW MY TANK LEVEL DATA?

Urban Utilities designed a state of the art “Tank Level Management System” that allows for direct interaction between the actual tank level data and the client, this all takes place through our Urban Tank Portal

This process allows for direct interaction between all parties, thus allowing the flow of true and accurate information and tank level data to be processed 24/7 365 days of the year directly from the interactive tank level portal

Access to the “NTank Level Portal” can be obtained by registering on the national platform
Click here to register and Join Urban Utilities

Geyser Burst Management

Detect geyser burst and prevent water damage

12 Months

R1200

PER GEYSER / ANNUALLY

Annual Geyser Management

Unit Price

R2 288.50

What Is Included

1x Geyser Device
Real Time Geyser Valve Control
Real Time Burst Wornings
(SMS, Email & Push Notifications)
Real Time Leak Detection
Full Reporting Platform
24h support

Monthly

R100

PER GEYSER / MONTHLY

Monthly Geyser Management

Unit Price

R2 288.50

What Is Included

1x Geyser Device
Real Time Geyser Valve Control
Real Time Burst Wornings
(SMS, Email & Push Notifications)
Real Time Leak Detection
Full Reporting Platform
24h support

24 Months

R2400

PER GEYSER / BI-ANNUALLY

Bi-annual Geyser Management

Unit Price

R2 288.50

What Is Included

1x Geyser Device
Real Time Geyser Valve Control
Real Time Burst Wornings
(SMS, Email & Push Notifications)
Real Time Leak Detection
Full Reporting Platform
24h support

Learn more about our Geyser Management

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

HOW CAN I JOIN URBAN UTILITIES?

You can join Urban Utilites and have your property geyser managed by simply clicking on the Join Now button, by sellecting your option best suited.

WHAT COST ARE INVOLVED IN JOINING?

The cost structure are divided into 2 main sections:

Monthly Management Fees:
– Monthly fee per meter installed @ R100 p/m

 

Equipment Fees: (once off)
– Geyser Management Device @ R2288.50 incl

The above fees exclude installation fees

HOW WOULD MY GEYSER BE MAMANGED?

The geyser management units are designed for control over the water management process that takes place on the geyser itself.

In the case of a geyser burst or leak the number one issue that comes into play would be the possibility of water damage caused by the leak or a burst geyser. The geyser units act as a water detection device that shuts off the water in the event that a burst or leak in the geyser is detected.

The Urban management system then controls that actions around the possible geyser burst and leak by processing early warning messages to the property owner of the event via (sms, email and push notifications) through the urban portal.

The Geyser unit also allows for integration to your insurance provider by allowing the data to be processed to them in the event of a geyser burst or leak that will assist with immediate repairs and claims in the process.

HOW DOES IT INTEGRATE WITH MY INSURANCE PROVIDER?

We have an integration process that takes place with the insurance providers in South Africa that allow for each geyser management device installed to be processed and linked on the policy of each client in accordance with the policy process in place.

This will allow for the data process to take place between the geyser management device and the insurance provider.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE INSTALLED TO ALLOW FOR MY GEYSER TO BE MANAGED?

To manage a geyser live from your property Urban Utilities would need to install a small device on the geyser architecture that would allow for the actual geyser to be managed and the data to be processed into the Urban network infrastructure.

The Urban IoT network is cloud based thus allowing for the installations to be done seamlessly and without any major changes in the properties geyser architecture.

90% of the installation is a plug & Play and can be done by any property owner. The other 10% only comes into effect if changes on the property architecture are needed and this would need to be done by a qualified plumber.

WHERE WOULD I BE ABLE TO VIEW MY PROPERTIES GEYSER DATA?

Urban Utilities designed a state of the art “National Utilities Portal” that allows for direct interaction between the actual property data that includes the geyser infrastructure, the property owner and the insurance providers.
This process allow the flow of true and accurate information and utilities / geayser data to be processed 24/7 365 days of the year directly from the Urban utilities portal.

Access to the “National Utilities Portal” can be obtained by registering on the national platform
Click here to register and Join Urban Utilities

error: Content is protected !!