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A visit from the municipality


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Yesterday a municipal inspector came to inspect my electricity meter. This is because I have not bought a pre-paid token for several months and so they suspected that I had bypassed the meter.

Eventually my wife granted him access (our housekeeper refused) and he inspected the meter and when he saw that it was untampered with, asked why were not buying units. The wife told him we'd had a solar system installed and that we had a heat pump. He noted this information down and left.

Hmmm.... I wonder what will happen next.

Maybe I should have bought R10 each month to keep the system ticking over, but if they (or their IT systems) have any smarts they will expect a minimum purchase each month below which one is either living an ascetic life or is up to something.

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Yep!


I don't think for a minute that the folks who are going offgrid (and are coincidentally also the same folks who could afford to pay their electric bill), are going unnoticed to our municipal masters. When your milk-cow stops giving milk the farmer suffers.

This will drive the registration of solar, which will eventually become the taxation of solar.

I plan on making things as difficult as possible for the inspectors/municipality.

Attica! Attica!
 

 

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26 minutes ago, PaulinNorthcliff said:

I don't think for a minute that the folks who are going offgrid (and are coincidentally also the same folks who could afford to pay their electric bill), are going unnoticed to our municipal masters. When your milk-cow stops giving milk the farmer suffers.

Yes. Because electricity is no longer a service they provide, it is a revenue stream for them.

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6 hours ago, PaulinNorthcliff said:

are going unnoticed to our municipal masters

Data is powerful. I Cape Town you can also look for people who buy exactly R1210.68 each month. That's exactly 600kWh for people on the home tariff, ie that is someone who buys up all the cheap electricity he can. He must be up to no good...

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6 hours ago, Bobster said:

Maybe I should have bought R10 each month

Someone I know had a leaking water shut-off and accidentally pushed borehole water out into the reticulation system (it should be pointed out that this is why "anti-islanding" is required for water systems and is arguably even more critical!). The meter reversed. The municipality concluded that it must have wrapped around, and sent him a large bill for all that water... 🙂

 

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8 hours ago, PaBz0r said:

Apparently there are stickers in Pretoria, which is stuck inside the meter box to indicate that you have a PV system, apparently they cut electricity to a few people's houses with PV, as they thought they bypassed the meter.

 

I had some custom made and slapped it in my meter box :)

 

image.jpg

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They are already pissed off at me as I made them correct my meter readings, send someone out in the beginning of October already and never corrected my readings then I sent my readings in, system had big red letters going as the meter reading and the estimated reading was too far apart, then I uploaded photos and it was corrected, will see when they send another inspector out.

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when i went off grid after returning to grid 14mw a year, i had the surprise of virtually the whole management and legal from the muni connected to my meter box running whatever tests, and i was told i am stealing power.......now i don't even pay an availablity fee, dont buy any prepaid and so on for over a year i have been totally offgrid... i am happy, munu not so much

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What? 

Your municipalities take readings??

You're definitely not located in Witbank.

Here they give exaggerated estimates so they can keep overcharging and stealing your money. And the paying population of the communities is VERY few indeed.

Edited by Johandup
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17 hours ago, plonkster said:

Data is powerful. I Cape Town you can also look for people who buy exactly R1210.68 each month. That's exactly 600kWh for people on the home tariff, ie that is someone who buys up all the cheap electricity he can. He must be up to no good...

But that's just playing the game by the rules. That's what I used to do. My household was using under 500 kw/h most months, but the first 500 that you bought in a month were the cheapest. So I would buy 500 and build up a credit on the pre-paid. It was up to 3 months worth when we had the solar installed. 

Municipalities should not get upset about this. This is money being paid in advance for something that you will eventually consume, not money paid 2 months after consumption. It's good for their cash flow.

The City of Johannesburg's response, by the way, was to impose a larger per kw/h increase on the people who pay in advance AND to change the brackets so that it was only the first 250 kw/h a month that you got at a cheap rate. Oh... and they tried to sneak in a R200 flat fee that would be added to your rates rather than show in the electricity bill (they later claimed that this was somehow inserted into the schedules after council signed off on the new tariffs). 

I further note that the text messages I used to get from "Herman Mashaba", thanking me for being a good citizen and paying my bill promptly stopped a few months back 😥

Edited by Bobster
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At the end of the month I would have one years surplus power bought, going to keep that and only buy what I need per month to keep my one year buffer. One has to save where you can. Brought my electricity bill down from R1700/month in 2016 to R300/month end 2019.

Edited by Ridiq
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13 hours ago, Johandup said:

What? 

Your municipalities take readings??

You're definitely not located in Witbank.

Here they give exaggerated estimates so they can keep overcharging and stealing your money. And the paying population of the communities is VERY few indeed.

My last actual reading was taken end April, water was read every month but not the electricity, I declared my readings last month online and will do the same this month.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi There,

I would like to ask a question,

During the day with me being at work the wife was busy in the house when suddenly the power went off, she assumed it was load shedding and also could not understand why the Inverter did not take over as it always has done.

She was about to phone me when she discovered the Pre-paid meter reached zero ( she forgot to top up) there was no load shedding she purchased R200 and everything was back to normal. My question is why is this? Is it the law of connection from the Municipality or should the inverter have taken over until realization occurs at night when the batteries are flat?

 

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7 hours ago, Kawaman said:

My question is why is this?

I'm not sure what the question is. The prepaid meter ran out, you lost power, and the inverter ran the batteries flat. Perhaps you need some sort of warning light so you know when the power is out 🙂

 

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Hi There, 

No, the pre-paid ran out during the day, the power went off. The wife thought it was load shedding and wondered why the Inverter did not take over as it always does, we do not even know that load shedding is happening most times hence the wife wanting to contact me to tell me that there is an issue with the Inverter. 

The pre-paid had zero units, my question is why did the Inverter not click in to resume the power? It works very well with loadshedding but not when units on the pre-paid meter is finished. 

Hope I'm making sense now. 

Regards 

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1 hour ago, Kawaman said:

Hope I'm making sense now.

It most likely did take over when the meter ran out. Then used the batteries until they were empty as well. Then the power went out and your wife realized the prepaid ran out.

Edited by P1000
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21 minutes ago, P1000 said:

It most likely did take over when the meter ran out. Then used the batteries until they were empty as well. Then the power went out and your wife realized the prepaid ran out.

That's what I thought as well. If you have some kind of data logging in place, you might be able to confirm this hypothesis. There is no way the inverter could have known the difference (load shedding vs no credit), so if the inverter somehow did fail to take over, it would be a coincidence.

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Thanks guys, for replying.

Just a thought, I have enough solar panels in the daytime to cover all my power, this is what is confusing me and the wife. I am convinced there is an issue with how the installer wired my DB. Like I said, daytime load shedding is no problem at all, night time load shedding, the batteries take over with no heating appliances being used, there is gas hob and a gas geyser, LED lights through out. remember the pre-paid meter ran out around 12noon, the solar panels are at their best performance. (perhaps I should have mentioned, I have solar panels and I apologize for that)

Your thoughts again

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  • 2 weeks later...

Very odd, do you have a switchover switch and it was perhaps on Eskom instead of Solar (I know it is stupid).

But the scenario you are explaining is basically impossible if your inverter was running at the time. The power could only go out if your credits run out in midday if your inverter was either off or bypassed somehow.

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