With the colder months just around the corner, we often see electricity bills climbing as we need to heat our homes, cook warm meals and spend more time indoors. One of the challenges most of us face is a spike in electricity costs over winter.
We have put together some winter tips to consider if you are looking to reduce your monthly bill.
- Actual vs Estimate Invoice Readings
If you do not have a pay-as-you-go electricity meter, and you pay your electricity bill on receiving an invoice from your service provider (usually your local council or Eskom), many of the months billed may be an estimate of kilowatt-hours consumption and not an actual reading of your electricity meter. This means, you may find a few months of estimated bills which are either higher or lower than your actual usage and therefore billed at a higher or lower rate. To smooth out your cash flow and avoid a surprisingly high bill once an actual reading of your meter is performed, you can usually submit proof of your meter reading to your local council. If you are an Eskom customer and are billed by them directly, you can find out more about submitting your meter reading here.
- Electricity Consumption and Loadshedding
It is best practice to turn off your appliances such as televisions, decoders and hi-fi systems at the wall outlet as these appliances still consume power while in standby mode. Not only will this save you on unnecessary electricity usage but will also reduce the risk of damage these items may face from load-shedding. When your scheduled loadshedding is over and power is restored to your area, it is possible that a power surge can occur in your home. This can have a damaging effect on appliances.
- Be Meter-Smart
For those of us with pre-paid electricity meters, many of us are not aware of how the meter billing periods work. Within a given calendar month, you begin accumulating kilowatt-hour (kw/h) usage from a specific day of the month (usually the 1st). This means that as you progress through the month, you may cross into the next tier of kw/h usage which is typically billed at a higher rate. When recharging your electricity meter through the use of a voucher in the middle or near the end of the month, consider only topping up for the amount you need to see you through to early in the following month. This means that you will not pay the hiked premium rate (which usually kicks in at 600 kw/h’s usage within a calendar month) for days extending far out into the following month.
For information about how prepaid meters work, read more here.