Unravelling High Electricity Bills Amid Load Shedding

Why my electricity bill is so high?

Are you feeling the pinch of your electricity bill, even in the midst of “The Shedding” (our affectionate term for load shedding)? It’s a head-scratcher, isn’t it? One would expect that with less electricity to go around, your energy costs would magically plummet. Alas, reality often has different plans.

In this enlightening blog post, we’re on a mission to uncover the enigmatic forces driving your electricity bill sky-high during load shedding. But fear not, we won’t leave you in the dark. We’ve got the flashlight, and we’re ready to shine a light on this puzzling issue.

Service and Capacity Charges: The Silent Bill Boosters

To embark on our journey to unravel the mysteries of your electricity bill, it’s essential to begin with a crucial piece of knowledge: your tariff structure. Surprisingly, you might find yourself incurring charges even before you’ve flipped on a single light switch.

Let’s take the city of Johannesburg as our example, where you might be billed under the Domestic Single Phase 80 Amp Tariff. This particular tariff, known as a “two-part tariff structure,” adds a touch of complexity to the billing game. It’s a bit like a dynamic duo, featuring two distinct components: per kWh charges and fixed charges. But here’s the kicker – before you even start sipping your morning coffee or binge-watching your favourite shows, there are monthly service and capacity charges lurking in the shadows, likely responsible for the lion’s share of your electricity expenses. Sneaky, right?

Estimated Readings: The Bill’s Mysterious Guest

It’s not just fixed charges that have their say in your electricity bill; estimated readings like to join the party too. We’ve had the pleasure of dissecting numerous billing statements, and it seems that more often than not, the council is taking the liberty to craft their bills based on educated guesses.

Now, are councils permitted to use estimated readings? Technically, yes, they are. But here’s the catch – it tends to result in bills that inflate like a hot air balloon, causing you nothing but headaches. And with the inclining block tariffs playing their part, it’s like adding fuel to the fire. If you’re curious to dive deeper into this issue, feel free to peruse our blog posts titled “How Estimated Billing Affects Your Utility Bill” and “A Comprehensive Guide: Understanding Your Municipal Account”.  They’re a real eye-opener!

Be Your Meter’s Best Friend: The Superhero Solution

Reading your electrical and water meters might not win you any awards for excitement, but it’s a skill that can save both your wallet and the environment. Here’s the scoop, minus the yawns:

Electricity Meter Reading: Locate your electric meter, often loitering outside your home. Jot down the numbers from left to right, minus any red dials or decimal points. Keep a record and cross-check it with your council billing statement to ensure accuracy.

Water Meter Wisdom: Your water meter is the Sherlock Holmes of your plumbing, usually lurking near the street. Find the row of numbers, and yes, note them down.

The Math Magic: Calculate your consumption by subtracting the previous reading from the current one. That’s your magic number. Some meters have digital displays, while others boast old-school dials. Adjust your reading approach accordingly.

Stay Regular: Make meter reading a habit, perhaps at the start or end of the month, or aligning with your council’s billing cycle. It’s akin to scrutinizing your bank statement for any suspicious activity.

Water Watch: Beyond leak detection, monitoring your water meter helps conserve water and save on your water bill. If it’s spinning like a top when nobody’s using water, it’s time for a plumbing investigation.

Install a Test Meter: While you can’t tamper with council meters, you can install your own meter as a check meter running off the bulk supply. This acts as an extra means to ensure the council meter is accurate.

Now that we’ve uncovered the mysteries behind high electricity bills in the era of load shedding, it’s time for action. Don’t let the shadows of ambiguity and inflated bills obscure your path to energy savings.

Take charge of your energy usage, decode your tariff structure, and bid farewell to the headaches caused by confusing billing statements. Embrace the superhero within you by becoming a master of meter reading. Your wallet and the planet will thank you for it. So, shine your light on these billing intricacies, and let’s make informed energy choices together.
And remember, we’re your trusty sidekick, ready to lend a hand whenever you need us. Just drop us a line at help@oxers.co.za, and we’ll be at your service