Calculate your monthly consumption, and start recording it over time to see if you are making progress. Whether you use credit metering or a prepaid meter, it is important to know your tariff and keep track of how much electricity you use month to month. Remember that there are usually seasonal differences e.g. electricity use goes up in winter for heating. See the resources section for more tools and help on this.
Switch to prepaid electricity. Prepaid metering allows you to monitor how much electricity you are using at any time, thereby revealing which appliances use the most. Studies have shown that greater ‘real-time’ awareness of electricity usage encourages people to drop their consumption by about 10-12%.
To switch to prepaid electricity, call:
City of Cape Town Electricity Services general enquiries: 0860 103 089
Eskom serviced areas: 0860 037 566. See more information here.
For questions about an incorrect electricity bill/charge, please call:
Account enquiries/non-payment disconnections: 0800 220 440
Meter reading consumption queries: 0860 103 089
If supplied by Eskom: 0860 037 566
Winter is usually an expensive time of the year for most households when it comes to using electricity for heating, especially with tariff increases which kick in from 1st July for City of Cape Town customers (or earlier for Eskom customers). Most households tend to spend at least about 20% more on electricity in winter months for their electric heating. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to save in winter. See this downloadable PDF: Ways to Save Electricity in Winter.
The City is hard at work finding ways to help residents and businesses minimise the impact of constrained supply, and move towards more affordable, secure and sustainable energy.
Here are some of the programmes implemented by the City:
The City is doing its best to lead by example with energy efficiency and renewable energy in our own buildings and operations. To date it has:
These projects continue to be implemented, extending the reach and benefits. From 2009 to 2016 these programmes have saved over 49 000 MWh, which translates into savings of R20 million per annum and 101 000 metric tonnes CO2e. This means more money freed up for service delivery.
Coal-fired power stations and the burning of coal produces carbon dioxide (CO2) and other emissions which cause climate change and other pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, which causes acid rain. At the same time, coal mining damages the environment by degrading land and depleting our water supply. For every 1 kWh of electricity consumed, approximately 1kg of CO2 is produced and 1,26 litres of water is used.
In Cape Town, the residential sector uses almost as much as the commercial sector, and much more than the industrial sector. Residents are collectively the second biggest users, which is why residential saving can make such a big difference.
Electricity consumption by sector in Cape Town 2012*
Within middle and high-income homes, the biggest user of electricity is usually the geyser. A geyser is typically responsible for 40-60% of an average home’s electricity costs.
A breakdown of usage which is indicative of a typical home (but note that all homes are different):
Typical electricity consumption for middle-income households *
*this data comes from the Cape Town State of Energy