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Well, it’s been more than a year since our last post. Sorry guys, we’ve been busy with our homebug-like offering for estates and businesses. HopeHalfPrice you like it!

Once again we’re bringing you some AMAZING news. If you are connected through your municipality (sorry, if you pay Eskom it’s already too late, you had your rise in March) you still have less than 30 days left to TOP up your meter at last year’s rates – saving you possibly as much as 13%. Just like last year, you have to be clever about it – otherwise you might end up spending more.

The rule is exactly the same as last year you should buy units until you’re at the TOP of the BLOCK that you normally use. The blocks are determined by your municipality and possibly which ‘tariff’ you are on within your municipality.

Once again we want to answer the question – should I fill my tank before the price rise! YES YES YES! But it’s not as simple as filling your petrol tank before the monthly price change (which also you SHOULD do before Wednesday to save 52c/litre (according to Business Tech – or around R26 for a pretty average 50L tank). For your electricity it’s pretty much the same thing, but just imagine the Petrol pump charged you MORE if you bought over 100 litres in a month…oh and your tank is unlimited in size and doesn’t cost you anything to carry around! That’s what it’s like with prepaid meters, you can buy extra now, at the old rate, and then use them up after the price has risen – saving you money!

We’ve updated our handy spreadsheet tool for City of Cape Town. City Power (Jo’burg) — I’ll try to add some others later today – but if your’s is missing, please ask in the comments and (if you can) send us where the tariff is online and we’ll update it for you.

A quick run through – for City of Cape Town – say you normally spend R500 per month, then in 2015 that bought you 284 units each month. If you buy R1055 this month, you’ll get 600 units – all at the same price (R1.76). After 1st July you’ll be paying R1.88 per unit – so any extra units you buy you’ll be saving 0.12c each unit — okay, it’s only R37… but it’s something!

On the other hand if you currently spend more than R1060 every month, then you should buy AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. Every extra unit you buy, you’ll save 0.15c. So buy 1000 extra units and you’ll save R150. You just need to make sure that you carry on buying your allowance of 600 ‘cheaper’ units every month after – those 600 units cost R1125 after the price change. So this month buy as much as you can, then KEEP BUYING R1125 every month after that until you start to run out. Make sense?


Here’s a basic table of what you need to do:

City of Cape Town Domestic Prepaid 2016
Normally you spend… Under 1055 Over 1055
Before the price rise each month buy 1055 more…
Then after the price rise, buy at least this every month 0 1125


City of Joburg is ALOT more complicated – it has 4 different blocks of prices – so it can get VERY confusing. The same rule applies however – you should buy up to the top of the block that you ‘normally’ buy in. These blocks are at 500, 1000, 2000 and 3000 units every month — or looked at the other way around – spending R603, R1370, R2941 and R2984.  With the new tariffs these will change to R647, R1471, R3159 and R5353.

So put simply if you spend R400 on average per month, you (in total) spend R600 this month and then R0 after until you run out.

If you spend say R800 normally, then spend R1370 this month and then after the price make sure you spend at least R647 every month until your credits run low.

Joburg City Power Domestic Prepaid 2016
Normally you spend… Under 603 603-1370 1370-2941 2941-4984 Over 4984
Before the price rise each month buy 603 1370 2941 4984 more..
Then after the price rise, buy at least this every month /0 647 1471 3159 5353


If you’re having problems please leave us a comment!

Here’s the link to the spreadsheet tool – Enjoy!

** We have to say the same warning as last time – if you get FREE BASIC units – then this probably isn’t a great idea! If you buy too much one month you might end up losing your allowance of free units, which will cost you MUCH more in the long run. For those you get free units, we’d always recommend only buying what you need every month – and make sure you ALWAYS collect your free units every month, even if you’re away – so just make sure you go to the shops and buy a basic level R10-100… every single month. Every year about 1 in 10 people who are entitled to free units doesn’t collect them, don’t be one of those people! Whether you are entitled to free units depends on your municipality – generally you have to be qualified as ‘indigent’ and must use under a certain amount every month or year… ask someone at your municipality if you think you aren’t getting what you deserve.

3 Responses to “Another Year, another chance to stock-up at last year’s prices!”

  1. Reddy

    Can you please upload a spread sheet tool jb marks municipality ( potchefsroom, north-west). Thanks

  2. Natasha

    Thanks Rich for the great advice. I am new to the pre-paid meter world, so please excuse my ignorance, I spend roughly R2100 per month and am with Joahnnesburgs City Power. FNB used to offer (upto) 15% back on prepaid electricity spend (through their ebucks program). Due to the fact that this incentive will be discontinued from the end of this month (30 June 2017), I thought that (in my infinite wisdom), I would purchase as much prepaid electricity as I could possibly afford so as to maximise my 15% saving. Are their any cons you can think of? Is their a maxmum amount of units one could purchase in a given month? Would it push up the cost of my cost per unit at a certain level whereby it will not be a lucrative option anymore? Is their a maximum amount I should purchase?

    • Rich Davies

      Sorry we didn’t reply sooner – as this could have been costly… 🙂 How did it work out in the end?

      City of Joburg has lots of different buckets (I think 4 or 6?), so if you had bought lots you could have ended up paying more, but only if you went into a bound that was more 15% more expensive than you would normally use…
      The key thing when buying extra like this is to KEEP buying the cheaper units each month.
      For example – let’s say you have a crazy tariff is this R1 for the first 100, R2 for the next 100, R3 for over 200
      If you buy R100 one month, then you get 100 units.
      If you buy R200 you only get 150 units

      So if for some reason it makes sense to buy R1000 one month (special offer, ebucks running ou say), that’s great… but make sure you carry on buying the SUPER cheap first 100 units too.


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