City of Johannesburg 2024/2025 rates

Seems like Joburg’s 24/25 proposed tariff increases are out there. Obviously still proposed and not set in stone.

Keep in mind that on prepaid we currently only pay the per kWh rate with no ‘fixed’ charges for service / capacity:

High Users (regular customers) +18.84%
High Users will also pay R244.2 Service Charge plus R237.3 Capacity Charge (both plus VAT)
i.e. a R553.73 a month increase (with VAT) for pre-paid customers PLUS 18.84% increase in electricity use

So technically speaking (in my case) where I currently buy R100 per month to cover the shortfall and get through winter I’ll most likely now need ~R120 along with R553.73, so going from R100/month to ~R675. So almost R7k/year more.

That’s still not enough to get me to go off grid completely, but it does make one think as technically speaking cutting the supply makes you pocket R7k/year (which will increase yearly). So balancing it nicely might get it to work, but then you need to start with a proper generator that can auto-start (thanks Victron) to ‘replace’ the grid and then add panels, batteries etc. and then you realise it’s easier to just cough it up.


This is the very truth. People need to keep a cool head, do the math and work out where they are better off.

I do think we should put up a fight. My own position is that pre-paid users should be getting a bit of leeway from the City, because we pay upfront for electricity we have yet to use, whilst the City gets paid in 30 to 60 days for post-paid accounts. I know which is better for the City’s cash flow.

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Sjoe. Cape Town charges R219.21 ex VAT, and everyone on the Home User Tariff pays that regardless of how much you use. What tariff you are on depends on the value of the home (mostly, there are some other factors probably not relevant here).

In exchange for the service charge, your <600kWh rate is R3.09/kWh. On the older domestic tariff, that had no service charge, it would be R3.51/kWh. The eagle eyed mathy people will note that the 42 cents difference, multiplied by 600 units, is about on the same ballpark. That is not by accident :slight_smile:

I see the link in the article now has the draf rates published (It’s a zip):

Here’s the electricity doc:

Doing some quick scanning these stand out specifically relating to prepaid and/or PV:

  • Subdivide the residual prepaid customers into two sub-categories namely
    residential prepaid (low), to cater for the indigent customer and the residential
    prepaid (high) to cater for the rest of the residential prepaid customers,
  • Residential prepaid (low) to be exempt from paying both the service and
    capacity charges (R/month) to cushion our indigent customers in consideration
    of the current economic climate. To ensure that tariff remains targeted at the
    low use indigent customer it is proposed the block 3 tariff be increased above
    the NERSA proposed average increase,
  • The residential prepaid (high) customer to start contributing to the service and
    network operating and maintenance cost to gradually align to the tariff
    applicable to the residential conventional tariff,


The tariffs that are applicable to the residential customer category are generally below cost of supply and are subsidised by other customer categories. As it will not be feasible to make the residential tariff fully cost reflective some element of cross subsidisation is necessary though to be limited to levels that are economically sustainable. While that is the case the price differential between the residential prepaid and residential conventional customer is still unjustifiable high. This was also confirmed by findings of the cost of supply study that residential prepaid tariff is to a greater degree below the cost of supply when compared to the residential conventional customers. The residential prepaid customer therefore does not adequately contribute to the network availability cost.

The residential prepaid tariff consists of energy charges only which can only be used when the customer consumes electricity. While customers may choose not to use electricity at any given time it is the kind of product that must be available on demand. The utility therefore must ensure that the distribution network is operated and maintained to ensure availability of supply on demand. Compared to residential conventional customer the prepaid customer contribution to network availability cost is still very inadequate and require substantial increase in the next three to five years to fully align to the conventional tariff.

However, at the same time shield the indigent customer against adverse tariff increase it is proposed to split the prepaid customer into two customer categories namely prepaid (low) and prepaid (high) and to subject the prepaid (high) subcategory to some element of service and network capacity charges for the financial year which will result in higher increases for the subcategory as outlined in figure 3 on page 9.

The scary part from the above (emphasis my own):

the prepaid customer contribution to network availability cost is still very inadequate and require substantial increase in the next three to five years to fully align to the conventional tariff.

And a snip of the proposed increases:

Note the 18.84% increase for Domestic Prepaid (high).

And the 6c network surchage for above 500kWh remains unchanged:

It is hereby proposed that the Network Surcharge remain unchanged at 6c/kWh. The Network Surcharge is based on energy consumed measured in kWh and is applicable to all customer categories. However, residential customers will be exempt for the first 500kWh per month, meaning that residential consumption beyond 500kWh per month will be subject to the Network Surcharge.

A snip of the full tariff annexure:

Worth noting the Domestic Prepaid (High) now has different blocks and also the service (R244.20 excl) and capacity (R237.30 excl) charges. It used to be 0-350, 350-500 & 500+, but now is 0-500, 500-1000, 1000-2000.

I actually think the 18.84% increase mentioned is either a typo / formula error or has some weird calculation for someone using 600kWh and includes the extra charges, because the increase % table clearly shows a 10.74% increase:

And then there is an Embedded Generator section. This is the flat rate for feeding back (excl) and has some t’s and c’s:


1.1 In terms of the provision of the Electricity Regulation Act, (Act 4 of 2006) (ERA) generation of electricity is a licensed activity, unless exempted by the Minister of Energy.
1.2 This tariff will only apply to customers that are net consumers at City Power and who have invested in embedded generation capacity, are grid-tied (and comply with all the regulations regarding grid connection).
1.3 That the embedded generator is required to register with City Power and the equipment used must comply with the technical standards required by City Power.
1.4 All Large Power Users and Business Customers who would be willing to invest in embedded generation with the purpose of supplementing their electricity supply from City Power will have to be on a conventional tariff structure. If they are currently on a prepaid structure, they will be required to migrate to a conventional tariff structure.
1.5 All residential customers who would be willing to invest in embedded generation with the purpose of supplementing their electricity supply from City Power, will have to be on a time-of-use conventional tariff structure. If they are currently on a prepaid structure, they will be required to migrate to the time-of-use conventional tariff structure.
1.6 Embedded generators that are at any time capable of feeding energy back into the grid will require meters with bidirectional metering capability.
1.7 All parties that would invest in generating electricity capacity and who would elect to only feed into the grid (and never draw from the grid) will be treated as an additional supplier under a negotiated power purchase agreement.
1.8 Embedded generation tariff is only applicable to maximum generation capacity of 1MW.

Unlike Cape Town you do need to be a net consumer still (1.2), but also need to move to the Domestic TOU tariff (1.5).

Just to not have to scroll up to the full table here’s the TOU tariffs:

This includes the R244.20 excl Service Charge, but the Capacity Charge goes to R985.37 and then there’s a split between Peak, Standard and Off-peak consumption and a Summer / Winter split where most notably peak usage in summer is 270.49c/kWh (excl), but jumps to 622.31c/kWh (excl) in winter.

This is where the registering with City Power part gets murky for me as I really can’t tell if you can register, not feed back and stay on the prepaid tariff or if you have to go to TOU even if you don’t feed back and/or don’t want to get ‘rewarded’ for feeding back.

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Wow, that’s going to get expensive quickly. In some cases it would be cheaper to remove your solar installation.

Thanks. That’s a nice detailed document. Interestingly they have give a little to the non-indigent pre-paid users by extending the tariff blocks. Currently these are
501 →

They change to
1000 →

I apparently have the option to switch to the TOU tariff. I am going to load all of this into a spreadsheet and do some number crunching.

I’m literally sitting here doing the math in case we get forced to register and go to TOU for having PV.

In my case I’m looking at a ~R6644/year increase staying on prepaid and ~R16968/year if I move to TOU just from the charges coming into play. This is ignoring the 10.75% electricity price increase as I really don’t use a lot (~650kWh/year).

Pretty sure at R16968/year a decent generator will pay for itself pretty quickly and allow for extra storage capacity, a larger inverter and some extra panels in short succession.

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Sure, but can you actually get rid of the charge? I am fairly certain that where I live, I am obligated to pay the fixed fees, regardless of connection status.

That tariff makes no sense to me. The reason for having it - to encourage people to be proactive about when they use electricity - is all well and good, but in all the scenarios I have costed out, you don’t save. They want you to do something for the common good, and then you get punished for it. OK… maybe if you are using 1000s of units a month and can get most of that into the low tariff time of day then maybe… But for the sort of purchase I make from the grid, it is going to cost me >R600 a month to be on TOU.

It’s because the capacity charge is higher for TOU than any other.

Prepaid users still score, but not by as much. Mutter cuss words to yourself and stay on prepaid if you can.

But you want to stay connected, right? Then there’s no escaping those fixed fees.

I admire people who manage to go completely off grid, but I’m not sure I’d want to buy that house.

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I would assume that having no physical connection would mean no charges relating to the connection, but definitely something to keep in mind if/when deciding on taking that drastic step.

Though they only quote for TOU 80A. Look at the other tariffs and there’s a difference of about R200 a month between 60A (which I have) and 80A.

Make that adjustment and I start saving on TOU, but not by exciting amounts.

For now while staying on the prepaid tariff: Yes. I’ll swallow the ~R6k/year in charges as I knew it was coming.

But if I get forced to go to the TOU tariff for having PV installed I would actually consider removing the connection and just starting with a generator and then increasing battery capacity etc. to be less reliant on the generator.

True. And I’ll most likely then also look at the cost of reconnecting if I do decide to sell and look at removing the PV and reconnecting before selling.

For now I’m just thinking of ifs and buts. Not going to do anything drastic.

I don’t see anything about selling solar generated energy back to the council? What is the status in COJ?

True, but the only 60A I see is the Domestic 1 Ø which I think is the normal postpaid. The Domestic TOU does specify “<=80” in the % incrase section which covers the 60A and seems to be the only Domestic TOU rate (for now).

It’s still crazy either way if you are on prepaid currently.

That’s the embedded generation section which is the bottom third of my post City of Johannesburg 2024/2025 rates - #4 by fredhen.

You need to go through the process @Bobster went through to register. COJ and SSEG registration
You then need to move to the Domestic TOU tariff which has a crazy capacity charge per month (compared to domestic prepaid).
You get a flat rate of 94.68c/kWh for feeding back (~R1.09/kWh including).
You need to be a net consumer so take more kWh than what you give back.

for me 1.5 & 1.6 mean (especially 1.5) that if you supplement what you get from City Power with embedded generation, you will have to go on TOU (i.e. exporting, or getting paid for it has not yet even entered the equation).

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Well I’m being optimistic here (hard work for me). Because the way I read this document, you only have to move to TOU if you want to resell. I don’t want to resell.

The guy who handled my registration said that he’s been doing this for 18 months now, and in all that time none of his clients has been contacted by City Power to say they must move to TOU. This may be leniency, may be that my interpretation is correct, or it may be sheer ineptitude.

Yes. I think that’s correct. I bow to my learned colleague’s sharper legal mind.

Yes. You are probably saving if you install PV now, because your units per month will drop drastically, and you can sell back the odd unit or two per day. It’s folks like me that have the magic combination of solar and pre-paid who are going to be worse off.