THE BENEFITS OF PREPAID ELECTRICITY METERSadmin
Plumstead and Okavango Electrical Wholesalers now stock the new Gemlite Citiq prepaid electricity meter.
Perfect for residential sublets, apartment blocks, light industrial parks, workers accommodation and commercial offices, prepaid sub meters allow tenants to more easily monitor and manage their consumption but they also hold real benefits for property owners. These benefits include the measurement of electricity usage and the collection of payment for electricity used.
Property owners register their meters with a vending service provider like Citiq Prepaid. Tenants then buy electricity tokens either online, with an EFT deposit, cash deposit, Nedbank or FNB ATMs or from a wide range of store merchants like Shoprite, PEP, PicknPay or SPAR. The electricity collected is repaid to the registered owner by Citiq Prepaid.
This sounds great, but is a prepaid sub meter the best option? Well, it depends, you need to evaluate the other available options which are:
1. Simply split the bill
With this option landlords make an assumption about how much electricity is being used and charge a flat electricity recovery. This approach is cheap to set up but you will still have the ongoing administrative costs of collecting the power usage recovery from your tenants. A weakness is that usage is not transparent and inevitably tenants will be under or over charged.
2. Install a KWH sub meter
KWH meters have been around for many years and cost about the same as a prepaid sub meter to install. If you have a large number of units to meter you may choose to enlist the services of a meter reading company. They charge a fee for this service which is typically on billed to the occupant.
3. Install a council prepaid meter
If you install a council meter then electricity payments collected go straight to the council. The owner will no longer be invoiced for power used through the meter. In this respect a council meter is a good option. Power will be invoiced at the council tariff with no incremental (sub metering) service fees so your tenant will enjoy cheaper electricity. The down side is that council meters are often more expensive and councils have restrictions on where and how many prepaid meters they are willing to install.
Eskom’s website provides the following advice:
“Eskom does not normally provide more than one installation per dwelling but some customers would like additional meters for tenants, flats or holiday camps/homes to enable them to charge occupants for their individual electricity usage. In this case you will have to purchase your own prepayment meters…”
Assume you have decided that a prepaid sub meter is the right choice for you. There is one further decision to make – to split or not to split, that, is the question?
Integrated meters (the meter and keypad are integrated) are about 30% cheaper to install. They have anti-tamper functionality and if properly managed i.e. you keep track of how much electricity your tenants are buying, can be very effective.
Split meters, correctly installed will be virtually tamper proof. The secret is that section occupiers do not have access to the meter. The meter is secured in a locked sub room or kiosk only a key pad is made available allow communication with the meter.
For more information on the Citiq Prepaid Meter, contact one of our sales consultants:
Plumstead Electrical: 021 715 3151
Okavango Electrical: 021 982 8124