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Last modified: 02 Oct 2020
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Block tariffs can help save on electricity

07 September 2020

Electricity users can get more power for their money by keeping track of how many units they use per month and timing their purchases accordingly. 

"Kouga Municipality introduced a block tariff system for electricity purchases in 2011," Kouga Finance Portfolio Councillor Brenton Williams said. 

"The block system was recommended by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) at the time, so as to encourage electricity savings and to make the first 350kW power consumed by a household for the month as affordable as possible.

"Understanding how the block system works can, therefore, help residents get the most value for their money when buying electricity."

In terms of the new tariffs for Kouga Municipality, which came into effect in July 2020, electricity units are charged at four different prices depending on how much power a household has purchased for the month. 

Domestic electricity users pay only 101,4c per unit (kW) for the first 50 units for the month. 

The next 300 units purchased for the same month cost slightly more at 132,4c per unit. 

Once a household passes the 350 unit mark for the month, they pay 188,9c/kW for the next 250 units. 

If consumption exceeds more than 600 units in total for the month, further purchases in that month are charged at 227,3c per unit. 

"This means that it is best to avoid making a big electricity purchase towards the end of the month if your household has already exceeded the 350kW or 600kW mark because you will be paying the higher tariff and get less units for your money," Williams explained. 

"Instead, if you are running out of power towards the end of month, buy only enough units to get you through the last few days of the month and then make the big purchase at the beginning of the new month when the lower tariffs for the first 50kW and next 300kW power come into effect again."

He said the same kW unit prices applied to both prepaid and conventional domestic electricity users.