Friday, October 21, 2011

Of Rising Electricity Bills

Pretoria South Africa
Are we all running out of solutions to bring the cost of electricity down. The more I try, the higher my bill goes. I, like most of my friends have tried all we could. Its true, our electricity has always been the lowest tariffed in the whole world. We could be a bit spoilt or the change was just too uprupt.

In my work visits to Switzerland "those days", a bunch of us were having a casual chat and one guy from a certain Island couldnt believe that I cooked with electricity. I, on the other hand was surprised he and the rest of the group were making a bit deal of that. Electricity was as cheap as bread, almost. My bill was about R300, I lived with 4 or 5 other family members  at a time and we cooked everyday. Thats only a couple of years ago. And now I manage to pay close to ten times that and with reduced number of household members and conscious efforts to keep my bill low.

My friends living in Pretoria and Joburg observed the same. One friend switched from electric stove to the gas one and that resulted in an impressive doubled electric bill. I use no tumble dryer, I have no heating and cooling system, my life has been simplified but City of Tshwane hasnt noticed. One friend has switched from the billed electric system to the pre-paid and that seems to be the best. Switching is not always easy though. Especially for those who live in sectional title units like flats and townhouses.

What saddens me the most though is this affecting South Africa's attractiveness to Foreign Investors. Low electricity rates have always been our strength and advantage.
On a micro level, I only want to pay ONLY for the amount of electricity I use. Is that too much to ask?
What's your own story of rising electricity bills?


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