Prepaid electricity is similar in principle to the pay-as-you-go cellular telephone option. The operation is exactly the same – the electricity user pays for a voucher (R100-00, say) and receives in return a code which has to be keyed into a prepaid electricity meter in order to receive a given amount of electricity.
For the landlord, this has the benefit that his tenants receive the electricity they pay for without feelings of mistrust on either side.
For the tenant, or even the the consumer who elects to use prepaid council meters, the benefits are that power can be monitored and budgeted for with less waste than would otherwise be the case.
The remainder of this article describes the system on offer by Messrs. Meter Mate - one of the partner companies of Absolute Energy.
Installation Positioning Diagrams
Single Dwelling Installation
The Prepaid Meter is preferably installed between the Council or Municipal meter and house distribution board.
House with a Cottage
Isolator switches should be installed after the Council or Municipal meter. The prepaid meters are then installed between the relevant isolator switch and distribution board.
Multi Unit Property / Sectional Title
Installation can be made in Existing Buildings or New Buildings. The Council Bulk Meter will supply the Prepaid sub-meters of the units. In an existing building the old credit meters can be left in place as an extra check or removed.
Typical Existing Building Layout
Typical New Building Layout
Buying Electricity and Issuing of Voucher Numbers
Each prepaid electrical meter has a unique identification number. The vouchers for the meters work on an encrypted numbering system which are individually generated by Meter Mate. Each voucher is specific to the meter it was generated for and cannot be used on any other meter.
There are three methods for generating Voucher Numbers and Managing Payments
Fixed Cost per Transaction Model
This model is a largely manual process where voucher numbers are generated by Meter Mate, Issued to the Property Manager who in turn sells them to the Tenant.
Percentage Owner / Manager Model
This model is ideal for the owner / manager of one or a few smaller properties. The individual properties are included into the full Meter Mate payment system which receives payment on behalf of the owner / manager for a percentage charge per transaction. Payments can be made at many outlets country wide or over the internet.
Bulk Metering and Account Management Model
This is a fully automated model with reporting that relieves you of the worries associated with managing your multiple electricity accounts and is ideal for complexes or multiple unit buildings. If you own several properties or you are a property manager then this will simplify the task of revenue collection and payment of your electricity, levies and maintenance costs. Payments can be made at many outlets country wide or over the internet.