All electricity billing meters in Cape Town are procured, calibrated, installed and maintained by the city.
Residents cannot retrofit their own meters, says City of Cape Town’s Phindile Maxiti.
To apply for a prepaid meter residents must complete and submit the “New or Modified Electricity Supply Application Form” which can be downloaded here
Each municipality in the country has its own process when it comes to rolling out installation of prepaid meters, says Enbaya Prepaid Meters’ Karen Wheller.
“The conditions would be different in each council/municipality. The one fundamental condition we know of is that the municipal account is paid in full before the installation of a prepaid meter. That is what we know from many of our clients who have primary meters as prepaid meters.
“Some municipalities charge for meters, some have waiting lists, some install only in certain locations and the list of terms is long and varied.”
In sub-metering, the owner of the multiple dwelling, managing agent or body corporate needs to do research and choose a company that would suit all their requirements, both in terms of the type of meters that match their infrastructure, their vending channels, their vending fees and credibility.
“Because private metering is a private industry, like all other private industries, there are fly-by-nights. In prepayment that means funds fly with the companies if they disappear.
“In metering, choice is great, but let’s face it, the risk is just as great as the many choices.” While prepaid metering is “absolutely” better than billed metering, Wheller say: “It saves money for the meter user, it provides true monitoring and control of both budget and usage, and it alleviates so many billing problems for the councils of private metering managers. But it has to be done right.”