What is the best prepaid electricity meters for you and your tenants’ needs?
When it comes to choosing the best prepaid electricity meters there are many options and many things to consider.
Prepaid Meter Benefits for Landlords & Property Managers
Tenants Pay for Utilities Upfront
A common headache of many Landlords is having tenants who fall behind in utilities payments. This then leads to water and electricity account arrears stacking up and landlords having to deal with it. All utilities bills remain the ultimate responsibility of the owner, and in most municipalities, they will no longer open accounts for tenants, leaving the headache of billing the tenant to the owner or property manager. Upon the sale of a property, this can become even more problematic, as the rates clearance cannot be obtained until all rates, taxes and utilities are up to date and paid three months in advance. Without rates clearance, the transfer cannot take place, and the sale cannot occur.
When tenants pay upfront for their water and/or electricity it makes being a landlord that much easier, as chasing up utility payments is eliminated.
Besides the additional work of chasing tenants for payment, the installation of prepaid meters reduces the amount of administration landlords and property manager need to do. In the case of multiple dwellings on a property, this includes meter readings, working out the rate per unit (click here for simple calculator), doing monthly invoices etc.
Greater Control and Transparency
Prepaid electricity meters and water meters give greater control and transparency to landlords, property managers and also tenants.
Prepaid Meter Benefits for Tenants
Control the Cost of Electricity
One of the main benefits for tenants in using prepaid electricity meters is that they can track their electricity consumption.
This gives them insight into how they use electricity and gives them the opportunity to better control their electricity consumption. All modern prepaid meters are fitted with an LCD display that counts down, so users can clearly see as electricity is consumed, and how much is being consumed.
Additionally, there is no large bill shock at the end of the month and tenants won’t find themselves with a huge arrears bill that seems too overwhelming to handle.
Easy to Purchase
Electricity is incredibly easy to purchase if you choose the vending solution that suits your needs. We highly recommend option 1. There are numerous outlets that one can purchase from. It is as easy as buying groceries and can be done at the same time as most of the large retailers, from Pick n Pay to Spar and Checkers sell electricity. Other electricity purchase points include most of the major petrol station chains and banks.
If you prefer, you can also choose an option where the tenants purchases directly from the landlord or property manager.
Choosing the Best Prepaid Electricity Meters for Your Needs
Type of Meter
There are many types of prepaid electricity meters and each type is suitable for different applications. The best prepaid electricity meters for you tenants depends on your requirements as well as the type of property they will be occupying.
A garden cottage or townhouse development will have different needs from commercial properties like offices or industrial buildings like warehouses and factories.
Some typical differences in prepaid meters include the following:
- Single Phase or Three Phase Distribution Boards
- Integrated Meter or Split Wireless Meter with Keypad
- High Load Capacity Prepaid Meters
Typically, a prepaid meter for a residential tenant will be a single-phase meter and require a lower cost of investment. An industrial property tenant may need a three-phase high load capacity meter.
Ultimately, it is best to speak to a professional prepaid metering company in order to ascertain what meter would be the most ideal for you and your tenant’s needs.
Cost of Prepaid Meter & Installation Costs
The cost of buying and installing prepaid meters can vary a lot.
As discussed above, the type of meters needed will vary and this naturally affects the cost. The cost of installation can also vary depending on the type of meter and the type of property. Additionally, the volume of meters being purchased and installed will affect the cost. Typically, the purchase and installation of many meters will allow for lower costs per meter.
Other costs that should be considered is the cost of use. Most meters require limited maintenance during their lifespan. However, maintenance can vary depending on the meter as well as how they are handled.
Be sure to speak to your metering company about maintenance requirements for the meters you are looking at purchasing and if a maintenance plan will be required or not.
Prepaid Meter Maintenance & Security
We’ve already touched on prepaid meter maintenance, however, security is perhaps more important. Most meters are fairly robust and when used correctly and installed professionally they should not give too many issues.
The most common issue one might face is meter tampering. This is where the tenant or another party uses a meter incorrectly or tries to ‘cheat’ the metering.
Attempts to modify or change how a meter works will lead to damage and require maintenance or replacement. A good way to help prevent this is to invest in a prepaid meter that has tamper detection. Where tampering is a concern, we recommend split meters where possible, wherein the meter is kept in a locked cabinet or room and the tenant is supplied with a keypad only. Although they are the more expensive option, the peace of mind they offer often makes it the first choice of blocks of flats, complexes, shopping centres etc.
Some of the Best Prepaid Electricity Meters for your tenants
Among JKNV Energy’s most popular meters is the BEC23PL single-phase prepaid electricity meter. This is an excellent meter for tenants in a residential unit and is also the most affordable. This is an ideal meter for landlords and has tamper detection despite its affordability.
Another popular meter is the Cashpower Three Phase prepaid electricity meter. This meter is suitable for both residential, commercial and light industrial applications. It is a feature-rich meter and is competitively priced.
For more information about the best prepaid electricity meters for you and your tenants please get in touch with JKNV Energy today.
JKNV Energy is a professional prepaid metering company with many years of experience in both prepaid meter sales and installation.