What is a smart meter?

A smart meter is a digital devise (water or electricity) that can be used to meter your consumption in either a prepaid or post-paid mode. Smart meters also come with a Customer Interface unit (CIU), so you can better understand your energy usage.

What do smart meters do?

A smart meter will perform the task of metering your usage (water and electricity) and is the next generation in metering standards. It does the same job as the old meters but it is now digital in line with the smart 2030 vision of the City of Polokwane.

How do smart meters work?

In post-paid mode, it can digitally send meter readings to the City or its representative. It works on a safe noninvasive radio frequency network. This can ensure more accurate bills. It also will prevent estimations and incorrect reading taken by the meter reader. It will also ensure that the City receives an accurate reading even when there is no one at home. In prepayment mode you will have a CIU in the home for loading of credits and viewing the consumption. In this case there will be no need for monthly readings and billings.

Do I need one smart meter for water and another for electricity?

Yes. Currently there are very few combined tested meters that combine Water and Electricity in South Africa.

How will smart meters affect how much I pay per month?

The smart meters are very accurate and have been stringently tested by the South African Bureau of Standards. (SABS). In either modes, it will have the same rates as currently used by the City of Polokwane. The rates are no different, hence you will be paying the same.

How will I top up my smart meters

In prepaid mode – You will need to purchase “credit vouchers” at a CoP vending station situated at various places in your community. Once you have purchased your token, you will receive a slip with a 20-digit number printed on it. This slip is called a prepayment electricity token. The 20-digit number must be entered into the meter via the keypad on the Customer Interface Unit. The numbers entered are displayed on the CIU. They must be entered from left to right. (Credit vouchers are similar to purchasing cellular prepaid air time).

How to buy online or on your banking app

When you want to buy water on your banking app, you purchase the same way as you purchase electricity. You purchase water on the electricity tab, as the banks have not yet developed a tab specifically for water. However when purchasing, you must make sure that you are entering the correct Smart Water Meter Number. ( Meaning you will develop a new account for their Smart Water Meter and purchase the same way as you purchase electricity online).

What places will sell smart meter vouchers in my area?

Civic centre plus vending Machine Savanna Vending Machine All Spar outlets Shell and Engine Garages ER 24 online Some Spaza shops Zone 1 offices Seshego plus Vending Machine Zone 3 offices Seshego Plus Vending Machine Zone 8 offices Seshego

If I have a problem, who do I contact?

During the Installation phase, you will be able to contact the Support centre. The number to call is 087 350 2770. All Water and Electricity related queries will be handled. This is a 24-hour call facility. You can also contact the walk-in center at the Polokwane Municipality and its offices.

When are these meters going to be installed?

The installation of meters is commenced on the 1st of August 2017.

Will smart meters be installed everywhere in Polokwane?

Yes, over time. In line with the smart city 2030 vision of Polokwane, the Municipality will be phasing out and replacing all the old analogue water meters with digitally smart meters.

Are smart meters compulsory? Can I opt out?

In line with the smart city 2030 vision of Polokwane, the Municipality will be phasing out and replacing all the old analogue water meters with digitally smart meters. In this vision Municipality has recommended that all old meters to phased out and be replaced with smarter meters. This is the first step. These meters are in fact given to the customer for free. Other Municipalities charge a minimum of R2500 per meter.

How accurate are smart meters?

The smart meters are very accurate and have been stringently tested by the South African Bureau of Standards. (SABS) .

What are the benefits for me? How will a smart meter save me money?

Since the smart prepayment meter provides a continuous display of how much electricity you have left and also a flashing light showing how fast you are using electricity, many customers find it much easier to budget their electricity usage and to actually save electricity. The customer pays for as you go use. There are no additional charges that you pay for, e.g network or transmission charges etc. Your bill / account will not be estimated in future. – You do not have to pay for the cost of the prepaid meter. You will no longer have to rely on the city to have your bill delivered to you. You can reduce and monitor your energy usage. You can easily install a meter in the out building / flat let without you estimating a usage. Many customers do not understand the accounts for the billed system or how the amounts are calculated. With the prepayment system, you will get a Rand’s worth of electricity for every Rand you pay.

Who do I contact if I have queries about smart meters?

There are 3 components to the system: - The network that is installed by the City, - The meter that is installed at the meter box or outside the home - The CIU that is installed in the home.

How secure are smart meters?

Although, the meters are small, it is very secure. No one can tamper with your meter or steal from it.

What data do smart meters store?

The meters do not store any personal data. It only keeps the data related to consumption. installed in your home.

What about the indigents who are suppose to get free water. How will it work?

A registration process is to occur to register as an indigent which will allow the FBE

What if I have arrears

Payment arrangements can be made with the Municipality. To be discussed with the CoP.

What happens when there is a leak?

The meter is smart enough to detect leaks and send a signal through the network to alert the Municipality of the leak. The municipality will then send a technician to resolve the leak.

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