How to get cheap electricity from your municipality – Fill up your tank before July 1st (City of Cape Town)

You’ve got until 1st July to top-up your meter at the old rates in any Municipality. But remember to keep buying the special ‘discounted’ units every month on the new tariff!

That’s right, we’ve updated our Energy Tariff fill-up calculator to include City of Cape Town (email/comment/shout if you want another municipality — preferably telling me where I can see the tariff online!)

After we’ve been asked by numerous people about our Eskom ‘fill up your tank’ post (FYI – that is now out of date, because Eskom’s increased it’s prices now!); we thought we’d update our amazingly useful spreadsheet with the city of Cape Town’s proposed tariffs. We’ve only included the basic City of Cape Town Domestic tariff (not the Lifeline one with free units, because it’s a pain to work out – as you’ll lose your free units if you spend too much!!).

Basically our advice boils down to 2 situations:

1. You spend Less than R850 every month — before July 1st you should spend a total of R922 every month – then not buy anything until you need it.

2. You spend more than R1100 every month – buy as much as you want, but make sure you keep spending at least R1050 every month after July (otherwise you’ll lose your cheaper units)

(if you spend between R850 and R1100 every month, there’s not really much in it for you, you just keep doing what you’re doing!)

As an example, let’say you spend R2000 every month – that buys you 1,117 units on the current tariff. The best thing to do would be to buy LOADS this month (as many as you want really), but then MAKE sure you keep buying at least 600 units every month after July – spending R1055 per month.

Otherwise you’ll be buying units for 186.81c this month to replace units that cost 175.90c next month. So you need to keep buying the ‘cheap’ units on the new tariff.

CT tariff now:
First 600 = 153.63c — you get 600 here (R922)
Over 600 = 186.81c – you get 577 here (R1078)

CT tariff from 1st July:
First 600 = 175.90c – keep buying these — R1055/mo
Over 600 = 213.90c – don’t buy these unitl you need them!

So on the default ‘3 months of saving’ – this is effectively spending R5,250 in June, buying you 2909 units (that’s 1732 more than normal). Then you keep buying R1055 every month – that’s 577 less than normal!. So after three months you’ve used up all those spare units – and saved yourself R469 (i.e. 15%). This is because you only paid R1.86 for each of these units, rather than R2.13.

If you stopped buying in July — then effectively you’d be using up these extra units  (which cost you R1.86 each) instead of buying the first 600 cheap units (at R1.75 even on the new tariff!).

FYI – these are subject to change if NERSA let’s Eskom get an additional 10% increase. But if anything, that will make it MORE important to buy units at the old rate.

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