Everything about Electricity

This section covers all questions you may have with regards to electricity, including terms used, failures, disconnections, high consumption and more.

  • Kilowatt hour or kWh us the unit used to quantify electricty usage. One kWh is a unit of energy equal to 1000 watt-hours or 3.6 megajoules. Or when you use 1000 watts for 1 hour, that's a kilowatt-hour. In other words to get kilowatt-hours, take the wattage of a device, multiply by the number of hours you use it, and divide by 1000.

    Click here for an in-depth explanation of what kWh is and how it has an influence on your electricity usage.

  • Before contacting Protea Metering (or you municipality) about a power failure, follow the check list and procedures to make sure what type of interruption you are experiencing:

    • Check with your neighbours if they have power. If YES, (meaning they DO NOT have power)
    • Check with the security room/ guard house or gate if they have power. If YES, (meaning they DO NOT have power)
    • Outside of your complex see if the area has power. Non-functioning traffic lights are generally also a good indication. If YES, (meaning they DO NOT have power)
    • This is likely that you are experiencing a POWER FAILURE in your area.
    • Contact Protea Metering and report the power failure. Protea Metering will then report the problem to the City council and get a reference number. The City council will correct the problem.

    To report a power failure to your municipality directly, please use one of these numbers:

    • Tshwane Water Interruptions: 012 358 2111
    • Tshwane Power failures: 012 33 99 111
    • Eskom Power failures: 086 003 7566
    • Ekurhuleni Power failures: 011 999 5100 or 086 054 3000
    • City Power / City of J’Burg: 011 375 5555

    If the check list above is not the case for you then please continue with the next check list:

    • Switch off all circuit breakers & trip switches in the distribution board within your premises.
    • Switch on the earth-leakage trip switch (full "up" position).
    • Switch on the main supply circuit breaker (full "up" position).
    • One by one, switch on the remaining circuit breakers (to the full "up" position).
    • If a circuit breaker does NOT want to go “up” in the “full” position, please switch it OFF “down” again but push it down even more.
    • Then FOLLOW the procedure again.
    • If at any time during this process, any one of the switches "trip", this is an indication of a fault within your premises. Please contact your local electrician.

    If you still do not have electricity after this please contact Protea Metering and we will report this to our technical department.

  • To qualify for a prepaid meter you have to settle your current electricity account on your conventional meter. If your account is up to date you can contact Protea Metering and request a Prepaid Meter. The necessary documentation will be sent to you. After you’ve completed the documentation and the necessary payments have been received an appointment will made for a technician to do the installation at your home. The fees payable covers the cost of the meter and the installation. Your deposit on your conventional meter cannot be used to pay for your prepaid meter, as the deposit will be used to cover the last month’s consumption on your conventional meter.

    • Reference number: Our bank statements are imported automatically every day. An incorrect reference number will cause a delay in the allocation of a payment. Always ensure you use the correct reference number as per your invoice/statement. Always keep your deposit slip or proof of payment until your payment reflects on your Protea Metering statement.
    • Transfers between banks: If you make a payment from one bank to another, for example from Standard Bank to Nedbank, there is a delay, depending on the bank. The delay can be 1 to up to 5 working days. Always keep this delay in mind when you make a payment to make sure that your payment reflects before the "Pay By" date.
    • Incorrect bank details: Always make sure you have the correct banking details for Protea Metering.
    • Keeping these points in mind, please Contact us if your payment does not reflect. Be sure to have your proof of payment at hand.
  • As with any other service, if you do not pay your account, your services are discontinued until you have made the necessary payments and/or arrangements. There are several procedures that are followed before electricity supply is discontinued, including a monthly statement well in advance, reminder text messages, warning text messsages and a hand delivered warning letter. There are additional administrative costs that are charged to your account if your electricity is cut, so to avoid all of this, it is best to pay your account before the due date. If, for whatever reason, you will not be able to pay your account before the due date, please Contact us in advance to make alternative arrangements.

  • If we have an e-mail address, we e-mail your statement every month, otherwise a hard copy is mail to your postal address. If you do not receive your statements, please Contact us to make sure that your details are correct on our system. If your details are correct, check your Junk/Spam folder in your e-mail application to see if the e-mail didn't end up there. Alternatively your monthly statements are available online. You can check your statement with your account number on the Client Login page.

  • Each client's scenario is different and it is not easy to pinpoint an exact cause if the meter reading is correct. Reasons for high or higher than usual electricity bills include:

    • Electricity tariff increases - ESKOM and municipalities usually increase electricity tariffs once a year. This is usually implemented on 1 July each year. If there was a tariff increase, your bill will naturally be more.
    • Seasonal changes - Your electricity usage goes hand in hand with season changes. In the winter your usage will be higher because lights are turned on earlier, geysers must work harder to maintain the required temperature, heaters and air conditioners are turned on that uses a lot of electricity.
    • Appliances - Did you purchase a new appliance such as a new geyser, TV, fridge, etc.? Did you use your washing maching/tumble drier/dishwasher more than usual? Consider the difference in household appliances used compared to previous months.
    • Meter readings - It may happen that we captured an incorrect meter reading. Compare the meter reading on your invoice/statement with the actual reading on your meter. If you see that the meter reading is incorrect on the statement, please contact us with the necessary details.
    • Faulty meter - In some rare occasions a meter can be faulty and may indicate a greater or lesser consumption than the reality. If you suspect that this is the case, please contact us and we will arrange for a technician to test the meter. Please note that if the meter is NOT faulty, a call-out fee will be charged to your account.

    Visit the Energy Saving Tips page to see helpful ways of reducing your electricity usage.

  • A penalty charge of will be charged to your account. If the amount remains unsettled for more than 72 hours after the debit order has returned as unpaid, your electricity supply will be cut off which will mean further penalty fees. The amount has to be settled before your electricity will be reconnected. You will also not be able to make further use the debit order payment method.

  • Please see the deposits page for more information.

  • Please download a termination form and send it to us once you have completed it. After a final reading was taken, we will refund your deposit within 4 to 6 weeks - taking into consideration any outstanding amounts.

  • Please see Load Shedding Schedule for more information. Individual Municipalities can be viewed HERE.

Prepaid Electricity

With a prepayment energy meter, as the name suggests, you pay for your electricity upfront, rather than afterward, much like the "Pay-As-You-Go" concept.

  • Conventional electricity: A standard meter is installed in a kiosk outside the unit. The occupant uses electricty and at the end of a period a technician reads that period’s electricity usage. The usage is then captured by administration after which a statement is sent to the occupant. The occupant then has a certain period to pay for the usage.

    Prepaid electricity: A prepaid meter is installed inside the unit – usually next to the distribution board. The occupant then purchases "Electricity Units" (in KWH), as he or she requires. The "Electricity Units" are loaded onto the Prepaid meter by typing in a provided "Token". The "Electricity Units" are subtracted as the occupant uses electricity. When the "units" run low, the occupant has to purchase more "units" to ensure that the electricity supply stays connected.

  • Prepaid electricity leaves the "control" in the hands of the occupant. There are no monthly electricity bills that need to be paid. The occupant can purchase electricity as his/her financial situation allows. Users of prepaid electricity tend to be more energy conscious because they have to keep a close eye on their usage. Because of this prepaid electricity users’ consumption tend to be less, i.e. it can be more cost effective.

    Prepaid meters are also often found in rental properties, as they offer landlords security that their tenants won't fall into arrears with their electricity bills.

  • To qualify for a prepaid meter you have to settle your current electricity account on your conventional meter. If your account is up to date you can contact Protea Metering and request a Prepaid Meter. The necessary documentation will be sent to you. After you’ve completed the documentation and the necessary payments have been received an appointment will made for a technician to do the installation at your home. The fees payable covers the cost of the meter and the installation. Your deposit on your conventional meter cannot be used to pay for your prepaid meter, as the deposit will be used to cover the last month’s consumption on your conventional meter.

  • There are several methods you can use to purchase electricity for your prepaid meter:

    • Pre-approved debit order authorization: Client completes a pre-approved debit order. This service allows clients to purchase voucher via sms, WAP or our Internet site and it is a 24 h service.

      Please note that the voucher you purchase will not be deducted off of your debit order the same day but 4 – 10 days after purchase. Client will receive a reminder sms, which will give them a date their debit order will go off, and the amount of the debit order.

    • Bank deposit: Client can make payment at the bank, via Internet bank transfer or at our offices. Proof of payment must be sent to our offices after which a token will be sent to the cell number provided by the client. Please phone the office to confirm that the fax has been received. Our bank details are: FNB Cheque Account Acc No: 623 891 329 46 Branch No: 252 445.

      Please note that this payment method can only provide tokens during office hours and is not a 24-hour service.

    • Credit Card: Credit Card purchases can also be made via our website under "Purchase". Follow the easy instructions on the purchase page.
    • EasyPay: Visit any EasyPay outlet found around the country. Visit EasyPay to find your closest outlet.
    • UniPIN: Visit any UniPIN outlet found around the country. Visit the UniPIN outlet list to find your closest store.
  • Protea Metering provides a 24-hour service, which enables clients to purchase electricity from their cellphones (SMS or WAP) or the Internet. In order to make use of this service clients have complete the "Pre-approved bank payment authorization form" which contains the necessary bank details of the client. This also gives Protea Metering the necessary permission to withdraw the money from the client’s account when they request electricity.

    Simply put – it’s convenient. You can purchase electricity any time of the day, any day of the year from the convenience of your home. The transaction costs are exactly the same as with the other payment methods. No need to send a proof of payment. You also receive your electricity token immediately.

  • Once Protea Metering has received your "Pre-approved bank payment authorization form" you are registered on the system as a "Pre-approved" client. You can then purchase electricity via SMS or via the Internet. Via SMS: Send you meter number with a space and the amount (without an "R") you wish to purchase to 082 603 6531. For example: "12345678901 100" is a purchase request for meter number 12345678901 for R 100.00. Via the Internet: Visit the Purchase page and follow the on-screen instructions. After your request has been received the electricity token will be sent to your cellphone. The amount you requested will be debited from your account within 3-10 workdays. You will receive a notification via SMS to inform you of the exact date the amount will be debited from your account.

    The delay is caused by the different banking systems. After a debit order batch has been submitted the transactions are distributed to the different banks. The banks process the orders and this period differs from bank to bank which causes a delay.

  • It is illegal to request electricity with insufficient funds available for the purchase. A penalty charge of R 114.00 will be charged to your account. If the amount remains unsettled for more than 72 hours after the debit order has returned as unpaid, your electricity supply will be cut off which will mean further penalty fees. The amount has to be settled before your electricity will be reconnected. You will also not be able to make further use of the 24-hour "pre-approved" purchase method.

  • The Protea Metering system does not accept additional purchases within the period a previous debit order has been submitted. It is thus important to purchase enough electricity units to last for the period a debit order is being processed. Note that is more cost effective to purchase larger amounts because a transaction fee is charged per purchase. For example if you purchase R 500 of electricity once a month you will get more electricity for your money than when you purchase R 100 a every couple of days.

  • Before contacting Protea Metering (or you municipality) about a power failure, follow the check list and procedures to make sure what type of interruption you are experiencing:

    • Check with your neighbours if they have power. If YES, (meaning they DO NOT have power)
    • Check with the security room/ guard house or gate if they have power. If YES, (meaning they DO NOT have power)
    • Outside of your complex see if the area has power. Non-functioning traffic lights are generally also a good indication. If YES, (meaning they DO NOT have power)
    • This is likely that you are experiencing a POWER FAILURE in your area.
    • Contact Protea Metering and report the power failure. Protea Metering will then report the problem to the City council and get a reference number. The City council will correct the problem.

    To report a power failure to your municipality directly, please use one of these numbers:

    • Tshwane Water Interruptions: 012 358 2111
    • Tshwane Power failures: 012 33 99 111
    • Eskom Power failures: 086 003 7566
    • Ekurhuleni Power failures: 011 999 5100 or 086 054 3000
    • City Power / City of J’Burg: 011 375 5555

    If the check list above is not the case for you then please continue with the next check list:

    • Switch off all circuit breakers & trip switches in the distribution board within your premises.
    • Switch on the earth-leakage trip switch (full "up" position).
    • Switch on the main supply circuit breaker (full "up" position).
    • One by one, switch on the remaining circuit breakers (to the full "up" position).
    • If a circuit breaker does NOT want to go “up” in the “full” position, please switch it OFF “down” again but push it down even more.
    • Then FOLLOW the procedure again.
    • If at any time during this process, any one of the switches "trip", this is an indication of a fault within your premises. Please contact your local electrician.

    If you still do not have electricity after this please contact Protea Metering and we will report this to our technical department.

  • If you have other utility services that are also billed by Protea Metering the balance of these accounts are taken into consideration before an electricity token is provided. If one of your other utility accounts have amounts outstanding (at Protea Metering) money received from you is used to settle the outstanding amounts before further electricity tokens are provided.