Still cheap

The average price of electricity in South Africa is 33.14c per kWh (valid until March 2010). In the UK, it depends on the provider, the price plan and usage, but would be between 8.5p (R1.02) and 12p (R1.42) per kWh. (NERSA media statement 25 June 2009, www.ukpower.co.uk)

This week’s theme: Prices in South Africa

Post Script, 1:30pm: As some commentators have suggested, the cost of 33.14c per kWh quoted above represents the average cost across South Africa, including industry. Households in major metropolitan areas are paying in the region of 60c to 80c per kWh, depending on which city they live in (Source: www.politicsweb.co.za). See Theo Engels’ comment below to see how complicated things can get!

18 responses to “Still cheap

  1. Abbas Khan

    10 years Ago

    One need to compare like with like. People in the UK are paying 12% of one pound per KWH while in SA it is 33% of one rand. As one can see one third of your rand goes towards electricity which is really very expensive considering the fact that the earning capacity of South Africans is way below that of the British.

    1. amnon

      10 years Ago

      I agree that the earning capacity of South Africans is less than people in the UK. But equating R1 to £1 is absurd.

  2. Beverley

    10 years Ago

    I don’t believe this for one minute. If our electricity was that cheap then most people would afford it. And if it was that cheap then my electricity bills wouldn’t have been so hefty every month

  3. Edward

    10 years Ago

    According to this article (http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71619?oid=141527&sn=Detail) the price of South African electricity is comparable to the cheapest 30% of US states. However, as with the UK fact, purchasing power parity must be used to determine the true comparative cost. Use the Big Mac Index (http://www.economist.com/daily/chartgallery/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15210330&fsrc=facebook&sa_campaign=facebook)

  4. Giles

    10 years Ago

    If I was paying R1500 for electricity in 2008 per month and electricity carries on going up the by 45% each year, by 2012 I should be paying R9145 for electricity! That’s not Cheap!

  5. Anthony Eldridge Rogers

    10 years Ago

    This piece of data is not a FACT. It is a perspective which is misleading. The average price of elec in SA as stated may be correct but that is NOT what consumers pay. Why is this? Becuase lumped into that average is the BELOW COST sale of electricity to big business which consumers effectivelt subsidise. I suggest you should not call this type of thing FACT of the day but PROPOGANDA of the day.
    In fact this 2009 NERSA statement hsas already been widely discredited.

    1. amnon

      10 years Ago

      Hi – please provide some supporting documents and the Fact-a-Day community can discuss this.

  6. Marion

    10 years Ago

    my electicity per KW is 64 cents since the huge price hike we had last July. We also have to pay a service charge per day on top of the KW amount. This time last year I used around R300 per month, now R500 pm doesn’t cut it.

  7. Kobus

    10 years Ago

    Everyone already share my sentiment…Looking at the average income per households in relation with the UK and their basic services they receive, medical schooling, unemployment grants to mention a few and taking in consideration the first comment it seems that SA is absurdly more expensive than 1st world countries.

  8. David

    10 years Ago

    It is not enough to look at the Rand cost of electricity without also looking at the average income percentage that price uses. Average incomes in the UK when converted to Rands are far higher than average incomes in South Africa. If all pensioners, for example, received the same value in Rand as the British state pension there would be no trouble in them affording to heat and light their homes.

  9. Natalie

    10 years Ago

    Totally ridiculous to compare pounds to rands ( almost the same as comparing males to females). Fire the rocket scientist who made the comparitive study!

  10. Tom

    10 years Ago

    Anthony is right, I work in the energy industry. the comparison is of no value at all as it compares apples and pears. It shows how little people do know about the cost of electricity.

    By the way most town councils also buy at around 30c per Kwh, but they lob on a healthy 100% or so in some cases by the time you get your bill.

    So if Eskom puts up prices by 50% the nett effect should only by 25% as they make out only half the cost. That is if the greedy munics don’t also add 50% to their cost component.

  11. Nikki

    10 years Ago

    This is a misleading presnetation of costs and too often used as a reason to hike electricity price in SA – NERSA (and ESKOM) needs to determine actual cost based on the PPP (Purchasing power parity) approach.

  12. Terry Roe

    10 years Ago

    I have no option but to agree with those who feel that South Africans are being exploited beyond the bounds of sanity. To quote the man in the street as paying 30cents per kWh makes a mockery of the whole debacle, when the |Municipalities are the first takers at 30 cents per kWh and grudgingly pass it on to the consumer after loading the price by not less than 75% for a start in the poorer areas, and at least double that amount in the slightly more affluent areas. So please do not try to make South Africans feel that they are in fact privileged when compared with other Nations.

  13. Rodgers

    10 years Ago

    This is a lie. I currently pay 96c/kwh. If Eskom is selling it at that price, then what makes it so expensive for me.

  14. Theo Engels

    10 years Ago

    The statement ”The average price of electricity in South Africa is 33.14c per kWh (valid until March 2009).” is misleading as it should refer to the average standard tariff of 33.14cents per kWh, as that is what NERSA approved for ESKOM.

    What is ESKOM’s average standard tariff? It is average of all tariffs charged to all of its customers. So being average it means there will be lower and higher tariffs than the average standard tariff. This is true when one reads the published ESKOM tariff guide of 2008-9. In this the Businessrate 4 was set to be 79.82 cents per kWh, the Landrate 4 was set to 71.25 cents per kWh. Substantially higher than the 33.14 cents of the average standard tariff.

    Even the Homepower Standard rate or the Homelight 1 (60Amp supply) tariff at 59.20 cents per kWh was higher than the average standard tariff at 39.52 cents per kWh.

    This only means that there must be some seriously cheap tariffs going around. True!

    These tariffs can be from as low as 09.15cents per kWh to as high as 122.47 cents per kWh. But here is where it becomes very cloudy. These tariffs are known as Time-of-Use (TOU) tariffs with high and low seasons, with peak, standard & off-peak times per day and per day of the week. These tariffs go under the names Megaflex, Miniflex and Ruraflex and often have other cost components such as Service, Administration, Network and/or Demand charges and surcharges linked to them. This makes it very difficult to even compare apples with pears or with bananas.

    And then there are the bulk (non-published) contracts that are sensitive and therefore ESKOM cannot tell us what the tariffs are. My view is that the tariffs are so low that we (the general public) would probably have heart attacks on the spot if we ever to know.

    Put all this into perspective:
    The current (2009/10) ESKOM Landrate 4 tariff is 90.86 cents per kWh plus 1.97 cents per kWh environmental levy plus a network charge of R8.06 per day.
    The ESKOM Homelight 1 (60 Amp) tariff is now 66.93 cents per kWh due to a modest less than 15% increase.
    The Domestic High tariff from Cape Town City Council is 64.44 cents per kWh plus R3.40 service charge per day.
    Pre-paid non-seasonal Domestic tariff in Johannesburg varies between 78.52 and 83.05 cents per kWh.
    eThekwini’s (Durban) residential tariff is a very simple 64.2964 cents per kWh.

    So what is the average price of electricity in South Africa? Who knows, but we do know it will go up again and again and again. Why? Because technically South Africa has run out of electricity and it is up to each of us to do something to reduce our electricity consumption.

  15. Jo

    10 years Ago

    I have just calculated the rate as per my account this month: R0,6424… kWh in Durban. You’re correct!

  16. Mags

    10 years Ago

    Jo
    You say that you have calculated the rate as per your account this month, but what about the VAT? I get more like R0.73 in Durban.

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