Prepaid electiricty to save money-Centlec

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REFILWE MEKOA

Centlec says changing to prepaid electricity will save money.

According to CEO Moorosi Seboka, some electricity meters are too old and customers end up being overcharged or undercharged. This was at the Cooperative Governance and Public Accounts Legislature committee meeting on Tuesday in Bloemfontein.

Seboka says they have introduced systems that will help with their debt problems. He says the data purification process will be analysing the information on the electricity account and determine how accurate it is.

“Every electricity account is linked to an erf number or stand, and every account is being billed properly and historically. At the end of the day we will have purified the account data and will be able to see if the information we have is ‘live’, or if there was ‘dead’ material we will have to get rid of,” he says.
Seboka mentions that once the purification process has been completed they will be able to state whether the billing or debt is accurate and recent.

He adds that the smart metering system is a solution to many of the problems local government and municipalities have with water and electricity.
“The system replaces credit metering where customers would use electricity before they pay. We have customers who have a 30-day electricity credit before they pay their bill. We are introducing the idea of paying for electricity before a person uses it and we will also communicate with the meters from our offices,” he says.

Seboka says the project started the last two months and will be fully implemented in Mangaung in the next five years.

“When we sit in our Centlec offices in the control room, we can see all the meters across the city that has been converted to smart metering. We can determine if the meter has been tampered with, we can determine if the user has been buying electricity or not. We can also determine if the meter is laying doormant, in fact, we can determine many things. When it comes to peak demand, we can even talk to customers and tell them how they can help us,” he says.

It was mentioned during the meeting that it is important for the community to be educated as some people don’t understand the link between Centlec and the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality.