Eskom’s new tariff: Here’s how your monthly electricity bill will change

Eskom tariffs increased by 12.74% on 1 April.

Fellow South Africans, brace yourselves for steep electricity prices as Eskom’s tariff increase kicks in.

Your electricity bill will look significantly different from April onwards after Eskom’s 2024/25 regulator-approved tariff came into effect on Monday. Electricity will now cost 12.74% more, thanks to the latest tariff increase.

The hike comes at a time when many households are struggling to survive on tight budgets amid high inflation.

Adding to last year’s 18.65% increase, the latest hike from Eskom means its tariffs have gone up by 33.8% in two years.

As many homeowners try to grapple with the costly changes, others are exploring alternative ways to keep their properties powered up without breaking the bank.

Switching to solar has gained popularity among many South Africans in recent years due to load shedding and rising electricity costs.

The graph provides a view of Eskom’s tariff hikes plotted against inflation since 2000.

ALSO READ: WATCH: I want to get solar, how do I know if it is worth my while

Saving with solar

Although installing solar panels can potentially save you thousands, the process is just as costly, causing many to wonder if the expense is really worth the savings.

So, is it? LookSee executive head, Marc Du Plessis, said it absolutely is. He explained that investing in solar infrastructure was worth every penny.

“Our conversations with customers are increasingly about the immediate and long-term savings that solar offers. What we know is that the savings on the monthly electricity bill pays for the majority of the repayment on a Solar Loan as an example. After five years, when the loan is paid off, those solar panels are generating significant amounts of free electricity and making a real difference to household budgets,” he said.

Cash is king, undoubtedly. While the idea of paying cash for your solar installation sounds like the best option, few people can afford to go that route.

For those considering investing in solar panels, but are low on cash, Standard Bank’s LookSee Solar Loan is worth checking out.

READ MORE: Standard Bank’s LookSee first to launch Solar Loan

The loan comes with personalised interest rates capped at Prime +2.5%, which is lower than the average Prime +7% or the maximum 17.5% for standard loans.

Click here to get a financed solar installation

Behavioural change

Additionally, Du Plessis encouraged South Africans to consider changing their electricity consumption habits to save more.

“Use less and produce some of your power – that combination is powerful,” he told The Citizen.

Studies show that most households run their geyser at around 60 to 70 degrees Celsius. Keeping the geyser running continuously at the high temperature consumes a significant amount of electricity.

Meanwhile, dishwashers and washing machines also heat water to high temperatures, running the electricity bill up further.

“If you can reduce the temperature on those appliances, you could bring down your electricity bill. You can also try use them more effectively by timing your geyser heating closer to when you need hot water and waiting for a full load before you run your washing machine or dishwasher,” Du Plessis advised.

ALSO READ: Is getting solar really worth it? Here’s how much you could save

What does Eskom’s tariff increase mean?

In case you’re wondering how much your monthly household budget will change, here’s a quick breakdown.

Currently, Eskom has two prepaid categories: Homelight 20A and Homelight 60A.

Properties with low energy needs use Homelight 20A electricity, while those with medium to high energy demands require 60A electricity, which has a significantly higher voltage output.

Homes running on 60A will feel the squeeze as Eskom’s new tariff kicks off, paying R2.67 per kWh – that’s if they don’t exceed 600kWh per month.

“There’s a threshold when electricity becomes much more expensive. As soon as you go over that 600kWh mark, you’re really going to feel the impact of this electricity tariff,” Du Plessis warned.  

Households exceeding 600kWh will be charged R4.54 per kWh on their electricity consumption.

‘Costs will be 70% more’

Du Plessis said while households on the lower end of the energy consumption spectrum may be slightly cushioned as Eskom ‘staggers’ the tariff increases – larger properties will be hit hard.

“As soon as they go over that 600kWh per month, their per unit electricity costs will be 70% more,” he told The Citizen.

He explained that medium electricity consumption properties are typically middle-income homes which tend to use in excess of 20kWh of electricity daily.

“That is a middle-market, two to three-bedroom home, living in a relatively comfortable manner,” he said, adding that monthly consumption could reach up to 900kWh.

Winter is coming

Electricity demand usually spikes in winter as households keep their geysers and heaters for longer periods in attempts to stay warm.

As the cold season approaches, Du Plessis warned homeowners of exorbitant electricity bills ahead.

An electric geyser takes up 40% of an average household’s energy consumption. This amount is expected to increase into the winter season.

For households looking to take a more targeted approach to a solar installation, the geyser is the best place to start said Du Plessis.

“Taking your geyser heating costs off your electricity bill results in considerable savings for the household. We’ve looked at various options in this space and determined that converting existing electric geysers to get power from solar panels is a very affordable and sustainable option,” he said.

Unlike traditional solar geysers which are installed on the roof, the conversion process leaves the existing geyser in place where it is protected from the elements and winter chill factors.

The quick and relatively easy conversion process sees 3 to 4 regular solar panels installed on the roof that are connected to a controller. The controller is then connected to the geyser’s heating element and thermostat. The connection to the home’s electricity supply is also maintained to ensure backup power during extended periods of cloudy weather.

Therefore, by switching to solar property owners could potentially save on the monthly bill.

Click here for more info on converting your electric geyser to solar

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