Metro’s current pre-paid meters give problems

THE meter a resident currently has problems with.
THE meter a resident currently has problems with.

KOOS VAN NIEKERK writes:

Are you perhaps considering changing over to prepaid electricity? Do yourself a favour, stay as far away as possible from this type of meter. Absolutely rubbish.

Ninety-nine per cent of the time it goes into “30 mode” on the screen. At this point in time you do not know how many units you still have available. You cannot load it either.

It will beep once it gets to around 30 units, indicating for you to top up, and this is where the main headaches start. You are either lucky to get it right the first time, but other times it can take hours to reload. If you still have no luck, you call the emergency number and they send an “expert” to come out and load it for you.

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This, by the way, takes between seven and nine hours for them to show their face.

In my case, I became part of the family, you can say, by calling them on a regular basis to load it for us. But it is just as annoying to wait for them to do this as it was with the power cuts we used to have. The choice is yours. You try everything they tell you, like switch off all plugs and leave one on to load. At times it works, other times not.

By the way, don’t think they cannot cut your supply. If you are behind on rates and taxes, it can be cut. You won’t be able to buy prepaid electricity until your account is up to date.

Bottom line is, stay away from this rubbish. There are other devices on the market – not all from Ekurhuleni. Shop around before you want to change over or stay on direct municipal power as long as you can.

Themba Gadebe, metro spokesman, replies:

Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality is currently experiencing problems with the current meter due to other appliances inside the house interfering with the signal.

The way the meter communicates is through the main power cable with an imposed frequency. Certain appliances in the house interfere with the frequency.

There are two other types of prepaid meters that we have available that have solved some of these problems. We have also gone out on tender for a new type of prepaid meter that has communication on 13 different frequencies that will solve this problem.

The tender process has been approved and an order has been placed. The first batch of meters is expected to be delivered by the middle of May.

Customers are requested to contact the metro’s energy department on 011-999-3925 and leave their details so we can replace the meter.

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