load shedding eskom power outages

Image credit: Envato elements

Eskom tariff hike: What an average monthly electric bill could now look like

When Eskom get what they want, it tends to hit the general public hard. Here’s how much the new electricity prices could end up costing us.

load shedding eskom power outages

Image credit: Envato elements

They’ve pulled off a tariff heist rather than a tariff hike. Eskom will now be charging 9.41% more for their power over the next 12 months after Nersa agreed with their plans to jack-up their electricity prices.

This is on top of the 4.41% increase that was agreed last year, meaning SA has had to bear the brunt of a 13.82% hike from 1 April. Sadly, this is not an elaborate prank that’s being played on us all.

Electricity prices in South Africa

In a fairly predictable move, the power firm managed to get just a portion of the increase they were asking for. Despite the looming threat of load shedding and repeatedly-poor management at the top, Eskom has at least managed to convince the regulator they’re worth another roll of the dice.

Of course, this impacts all of us, with the poorest citizens set to be hit hardest by the changes. We’ve decided to do some quick calculations on what energy will now cost the consumer, and what the rise in electricity prices means in terms of rands and cents.

Average monthly electricity prices: How we work it out

We took the wattage of each item and multiplied it by the number of hours they are used on average per month to get a kilowatt-hour (kWh) value.

It’s then a case of multiplying the amount of kWh consumed by the energy rate. We used the middle ground of an Inclining Block Tariff applicable to Block 1 for Homepower, which comes to 148.07 cents for every kilowatt hour, when you factor in the 9.4% increase. This is going to give us an “average” value.

This is what we expect your monthly electricity bill to look like. It’s worth noting, these figures are based on the ones provided after the 4.41% rise was implemented last year.

Eskom tariff hike: New average monthly cost per household item

Frequent use

These items are used on average about 180 hours per month:

  • A 60-watt light bulb: R13.43 – You must multiply this number by how many bulbs your house uses.
  • A 70cm Television: R22.20
  • Two-bar Heater / Fan: R96.10 (seasonal)
  • Home / Desktop computer: R47.95
  • Geyser: R666.08

It’s imperative that you only use your geyser as and when required – keeping it going for 24 hours of the day over the course of one month could end up costing you thousands of rand extra: Only switch it on before it’s needed, then promptly turn it off.

Always on

Appliances generally running for 24 hours a day:

  • Refrigerator: R266.43
  • Chest Freezer: R42.06

Little and often

Five minutes per day / three hours per month:

  • Toaster: R4.87
  • Microwave: R.5.77
  • Kettle: R10.66

36 Hours per month:

  • Oven / Stove: R159.90

10 Hours per month:

  • Iron: R14.80

What a monthly electricity bill could look like in April 2019:

Adding together everything, we’ve got an average figure of R1 350 a month. This won’t apply to everyone, as not all these appliances are used in every home – this is just a trusty method to get a ball-park amount.

That 9.4% Eskom increase may not sound like it’s the end of the world for some people, but it’s going to make a massive difference to millions of citizens: We’re now looking at approximately R125 more on our electric prices per month, or an extra R1 500 a year.

This is all before they add another two increases on for 2020 and 2021. By 2022, we’ll be paying 22.7% more for our electricity. No need to thank us, Eskom – just try and keep the lights on for a few days at a time, please.

How to calculate your usage

You can work out how many “kilowatt hours” your home is clocking up by visiting this nifty page City Power put together: It allows you to count up the appliances you’re using and how long they’re on for. Give it a go!

Photo: City Power