Written by Media Unit Thursday, 17 March 2011 15:54
Ekurhuleni residents stand to save their hard earn money on electricity expenditure, should the new proposed tariffs structure
be approved by both the Ekurhuleni Council and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) in the next few months.
The municipality is currently in discussions with the regulatory body, Nersa, to look at an alternative to the season based tariff structure on its Tariff B (residential tariff), which has caused residents to complain of high bills during the high demand season between June to August.
In the new proposed tariffs, customers will be able to choose between Tariff A (Inclining Block Rate Tariff - IBT) or Tariff B (residential) where the winter/summer month tariffs will be the same throughout the year. Tariff A (IBT) is structured in the following manner: Block (1-50 kwh or units), (>50 - <350 units), (>350 - <600 units) and (>600 units)
“For an example, if you buy 400 units, you will be charged R0.86,2 including VAT for the consumption of the first 50 units block. Then you have been left with 350 units which is the next block and is charged slightly higher at the rate of R0.98,5 and the next block between 350 and 600 units will be charged at R 1.34,1 while the 600 units block is charged at R 1.58,7 within the same month,” explains Stephen Delport, the municipality’s Chief Engineer: Metering, Vending and Tariffs.
The new structure will be more beneficial to the lower volume electricity users as they have an opportunity to maintain their consumption levels between the first and second blocks, which will keep their account payment at low rates.
However, in cases where the billing system cannot accommodate the inclining block rate, a flat rate will be active at the standard R1.11,5 VAT inclusive, per unit.
The metro also seeks to ensure that that the poor continue to benefit from free electricity without competing for resources with those that are able to pay for services.
“In this regard, only residents that are registered and approved indigents will continue benefiting from the free 100 units,” points out Delport.
For Tariff B in residential areas, a fixed charge of R21.04 will continue to be levied. This however, does not apply to prepaid customers because meter reading is not required.
In terms of Tariff B for business customers, a fixed charged will also continue to apply, however, this charge will be increased to better align the purchase and selling cost of electricity. These customers have an opportunity to save by determining the actual required capacity of their connection (in Ampere) and then correctly choose their connection requirements.
“There are businesses that have higher voltage supplies with very low consumption, which becomes costly. This needs to be properly proportioned and balanced between voltage and consumption levels,” Delport cautioned, emphasising that these were still discussions until endorsed by Council and Nersa.
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