Question NW2177 to the Minister of Public Enterprises

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20 November 2020 - NW2177

Profile picture: Singh, Mr N

Singh, Mr N to ask the Minister of Public Enterprises

(1)Regarding the maintenance of prepaid electricity meters under Eskom, what is the current status of reported faults of electricity meters in terms of reported issues and maintenance outstanding; (2) Under what circumstances will Eskom carry out calibration tests and/or maintenance on electricity meters to ensure that the equipment reflects the correct consumption and usage?


According to the information received from Eskom

1. As at 9 October 2020, 7 038 prepaid electricity meters faults were reported in October 2020. Of these, 3 698 prepaid electricity meters have been maintained and faults were resolved/closed.

The 3 340 prepaid electricity meter work orders that are still open are reported by zero-buying customers, that is the meters indicated that the customers are not consuming electricity. In these cases, Eskom first scheduled the fault for investigation, after which the following actions will follow:

Where a customer is found to have tampered with the supply or meter, a tamper fine will be issued, the meter will be maintained and then the customer’s supply restored.

Where a meter is found to be bypassed, a tamper fine will be issued. The meter will be maintained however then the customer’s supply will be restored once the tamper fine is paid or a deferred payment form is signed.

Where the customer is zero buying but no tamper is found, the prepaid electricity meter will be maintained and the work order closed.

(2) Prepayment meters are full electronic devices with no moving parts on the measurement circuit that require calibration during the lifespan of the meter. They are electronically calibrated during the manufacturing process using high-tech calibration equipment embedded in the production line.

The accuracy is regularly certified by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). All the calibration results of individual meters are loaded into the Eskom Customer Care and Billing System for future reference. The calibration is not expected to drift in anyway during the lifespan of meter.

In instances where a customer complains that a meter is inaccurate, Eskom uses SABS certified equipment to verify the accuracy of the meter. In the unlikely event that the meter is found to be inaccurate, the meter is replaced with a new one. The faulty meter is then sent to the supplier for full analysis and the supplier is expected to submit a comprehensive report to Eskom.

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