The most recent tariff hike by Eskom coupled with increased electricity usage in the winter months means that Joburg residents are bracing themselves for higher-than-ever electricity bills. But thankfully the roll-out of new smart electricity meters in the city means that you’ll at least know you’re being charged the right amount for the electricity that you do use.
Harold Fleishman, power liaison: Blairgowrie City, says, “Smart meters communicate your electricity usage to Eskom via SIM card, so your bills will be more accurate. You also won’t have to undergo any security risks from people needing to access your property regularly to read your meter.” Installation of the meters is completely free. (There were a few teething problems with readings not being submitted properly because of weak cellphone reception, Fleishman says.)
Craighall resident Alex Stevens says that her smart meter was faulty from the start. “From day one we saw that our kilowatt usage had jumped up per day. We then went away for a week – so no geyser, lights or cooking – and our consumption on the smart meter remained the same, which makes no sense.”
Residents with similar issues should call the support centre to check that their meter is recording and transmitting correctly. Legally, everyone has to change to a smart meter at some point, and you can’t refuse the City Power contractors access to your property, otherwise your power supply could be cut off.
Tim Truluck, councillor: DA Ward 117, advises, “Contractors should be let inside the property only if they have verified ID. You should take a picture of your old meter and note down who installed it, the time, date, old meter number and reading. You should also take a photo of the job card and note down the new meter name and number. If you’re unsure of the legitimacy of the person installing your meter, call or email the support centre.”
- Call 081 022 0540 to check that your meter is correctly registered on the system or to log any problems.
- Call 087 022 0540 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any general queries.