Manage your utilities and pay less

Joburg residents who manage their utilities will benefit from new tariffs

As a Johannesburg citizen, if you used your utilities wisely, you will pay lower tariffs
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Johannesburg’s Member of the Mayoral Committee for Finance, Geoffrey Makhubo, says the city is keenly aware of the difficult economic circumstances experienced by households.
“Families are faced with very real challenges when it comes to disposable income and our tariffs need to respond to these pressures,” he says.
This year the city responded to the submissions made by residents and stakeholders and some of the original proposed increases were lowered. The average tariff increase for electricity for 2013-2014 budget is 7.32%. This is lower than the 8% Eskom increase approved by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).
Through the city’s stepped tariff structure for electricity services, residents can, however, manage their own monthly bills. The principle is: the higher the consumption, the higher the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
The monthly electricity bill for a household consuming 350kWh will increase by from R17.49 to R252.33. This percentage increase gets higher as consumption patterns grow. Consumers of 500kWh of electricity will see a R68.49 rise in their monthly bills.
The city’s water bills reflect the same stepped tariff approach to encourage savings on a very scarce commodity. Though all households receive the first 6 000 kilolitres (kl) of water per month for free, those consuming between 6 000kl and 10 000kl will experience a modest increase of 5.3% – way below the average increase of 9.82%.
The size of the new increases grows bigger as water consumption patterns escalate. Those consuming up to 20kl per month will pay 11.82% more and the households using more than 40kl will see a 12.82 % increase in their bills.
MMC Makhubo says consumers themselves can take steps within their own households to reduce their monthly bills. Information on practical measures to lower consumption is widely available from the city, from City Power, Joburg Water and Eskom.
“We can all contribute to the national efforts to conserve electricity by limiting our consumption during the peak hours – between 17h00 and 21h00 by switching off the geyser and unplugging appliances not in use through better insulation in our homes and through switching to energy-efficient light bulbs,” he said.
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Issue 68