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Ways to stretch your electricity budget this winter

Electricity is a vital commodity and without it our quality of life would be significantly impacted.  But this comes at a price for South African Seniors, a price that in some cases is rising daily.

So in “light” (excuse the pun) of this how do Pensioners stretch their budget this Winter?


The amount of money you spend on power in South Africa depends on your location. Eskom, the South African electricity public utility, charges some municipalities directly. On the other hand, some municipalities enjoy a subsidized cost charge on power. For instance, if you live in Soweto, Eskom charges you directly and  if you reside in the country’s major cities, Eskom charges the cities, which in turn charge you.  

How much does electricity cost per KWh in South Africa?

Eskom charges South African residents based on KiloWatts Hours (KWh) but the actual cost to residents may vary and sometimes a resident of Soweto might end up paying more than someone living in Cape Town despite the resident of Soweto consuming less power.

In most municipalities and cities, the threshold is 6000KWh and Eskom considers 6000KWh fair usage for a household. So, if your power consumption is less than 6,000KWh, you would pay less than someone who consumes more than 6,000 KWh. 


YEI shares eight tips on how consumers can lower their electricity bills this winter.


  • Lighting – always use energy efficient lights and avoid switching on lights in rooms that you aren’t using at night.
  • Gas – consumers that use gas heaters and stoves can reduce their electricity bills substantially in winter. Although converting to gas may require a large investment initially, consumers will save in the long term.  
  • Geyser – the bulk of electricity in most households is consumed by geysers, especially in winter when it is much colder. Installing a geyser timer to manage consumption during peak times can help consumers to save. 
  • Power rating – pay attention to the power ratings of appliances when purchasing them 
  • Refrigerator – old freezers generally use more electricity than new ones as they work harder to maintain cool temperature. Consider servicing or replacing your old fridge to save on electricity costs.
  • Appliances on standby mode – appliances that are not completely switched off and remain on standby mode such as TV, Hi-Fi, Decoder and Microwave, collectively consume a lot of electricity at the end of the month.
  • Pool – cover your pool in winter when you are not using it as pool pumps and filters use a lot of electricity to keep it clean.
  • Rebates – many Cities in South Africa offer rebates on electricity and Rates for Pensioners. Contact your local municipality to find out if you qualify and how you can apply.


Six ways to stretch your electricity budget this winter – You’ve Earned It (


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