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Private Prepaid Meters Or Council Prepaid Meters?

When deciding on a prepaid meter, there are two main options to consider.

Council prepaid meters and private prepaid meters.

What is the difference and more importantly, what type of prepaid meter do I need?

A body corporate or landlords with rental properties have the option to install sub-meters or private prepaid meters that are owned and managed by the landlord or body corporate.  A homeowner who wants a prepaid meter for their primary dwelling does not have this option and will have to apply with the local Municipality or Eskom.

Council prepaid meters

These meters are ideal for homeowners that want to control their consumption and avoid billing discrepancies from the Municipality or Eskom.

  1.  The prepaid meters are owned by the Municipality or Eskom.
  2. The property owner needs to apply with the Municipality or Eskom for a prepaid meter.  There are often waiting periods of between 3 weeks to 2 years, depending on the municipality and the backlogs.
  3. The money for electricity purchased by the consumer is paid over to the Municipality or Eskom.
  4. In this instance you will no longer be billed by the Municipality or Eskom for electricity.
  5. The council will usually only install one meter per property.  If you have a granny flat or multiple dwellings on a property, these can be managed by private prepaid meters.

For more information on council prepaid meters, please contact your local municipality or Eskom (whichever is billing you for electricity).  You will need to go into their offices and complete an application form.

Private prepaid meters

These meters are ideal for landlords and body corporate that have a bulk supply and need to sub-meter their tenants.  In this way, landlords and tenants can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that the electricity has been purchased in advance of consumption.

  1.  The prepaid meter is owned by the landlord or body corporate.
  2. The property owner needs to approach a private prepaid meter company for purchase or installation of prepaid meters.  Depending on the company, the turnaround time can be as little as 2 days.
  3. The cost of a private prepaid meter is often cheaper than the cost of a council prepaid meter.
  4. The money for electricity purchased by the consumer is paid over to the landlord or body corporate.
  5. In this instance the landlord or body corporate will take the moneys collected on the meters and pay the electricity bill.  The electricity bill from the Municipality or Eskom does not fall away.
  6. If the landlord is on prepaid (and is not receiving a bill from the council), he must be aware that the sub meters will still feed from his main council prepaid meter.  In this instance, the moneys paid to the landlord, is used to purchase units on the council prepaid meter.
  7. The landlord or body corporate receives a statement every month detailing all purchases made on each prepaid meter that he owns.
  8. It is essential for the landlord to select a prepaid meter service provider that offers user friendly vending options, that are convenient to both him and the tenant.
  9. Private prepaid meters are ideal for multiple dwellings, in that more than one meter can be installed per property.  For example:  cottages, granny flats, houses, flats, shops, offices and factories.

For more information on private prepaid meters


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