Submeters FAQ

Submeters FAQ

Is your rate different to the municipal rate?

Our fees are administrative and depend on:

a. The method of payment, eg. EFT, direct deposit, credit card payment, Universal Pin etc.

b. The type of payment, eg. utility recharge, arrears payments, levies etc.

After our administration charges the remainder is converted to a utility (eg. electricity, water, gas) based on a tariff.

This tariff is controlled by the you (the landlord) and should be set to equal the municipal rate.

What types of prepaid meters are there?

Electricity, gas and water meters are the most popular. For each type of meter there are a variety of models depending on the type of usage.

How quickly can services be obtained?

Application forms are evaluated and services can normally be obtained within 5 working days. This depends on the availability of contractors in the respective area. Once a meter has been installed services can be started almost immediately.

Can I use my own contractor to install a prepaid meter?

Yes. Your own properly qualified contractor may be used to install a respective type of meter.

How is electricity measured and what are the electricity tariffs?

Electricity is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). Electricity prices vary from region to region, tariffs are set by municipalities and electricity companies. In addition to the tariffs there are often also other administrative charges that are applied on the accounts.

Electricity usage is estimated based on average usage and then adjusted based on meter readings which occur periodically. If the prepaid meter is installed together with a municipal meter, as occurs in rentals or body corporates scenarios, then the owner (ie. landlord or managing agent) sets the kWh tariff to cover the municipal rates and to compensate for other applied charges.

What is bucksGO?

bucksGO is our payment gateway. Credit card payments and ACH (debit orders) are processed using bucksGO. Money transfers to utility companies and/or property owners also occur through the bucksGO service. bucksGO is also often used as eWallet and makes payment management more convenient. See www.bucksGO.com

What security measures do prepaid meters have?

There are various features depending on the meter models. Some have mechanical features that indicate tampering. Electronic signals can also be transmitted to our call centre where an appropriate response is taken. Tampering with meters may lead to eviction as well as civil and/or criminal prosecution.

Who controls the tariff?

Ultimately the property owner or landlord control the tariff. Part of our services includes setting, maintaining and updating the tariff. Our service is aimed at making the whole thing hassle free for the landlord but we are always acting as the landlord's agents in setting the tariff. So if the owner or landlord wants the tariff adjusted just let us know.

How does the prepaid meter work?

The meter has a keypad and special encryption security. We generate a numeric token based on a given tariff rate. This token is entered into the meter and credits the meter which in turn lets the tenant use a predetermined amount of electricity (or other utility service). When the meter credit runs low it alarms the tenant to go and purchase more tokens. The tenant must replenish his meter by prepaying for tokens failing which the meter will not provide more electricity (or other services).

Can I do my own installation?

Installations should be done by qualified professionals. An improper installation can result in death or injury and should not be attempted without proper qualifications.

Is there an administrative fee for payouts?

No. The payouts are covered as part of your general billing plan.

Can any person in a residential house install a meter?

An owner or any authorised person can install a meter in a private property. There is no requirement to obtain municipal approval.

How is the rate calculated?

Generally rates are calculated in line with the utility rate for the region or municipal area. The token issued takes into account the municipal rate and/or other applicable charges. Owners and landlords are always free to decide their own rates should they wish to do so (although this is not recommended).

What if the utility rates change?

As part of our hassle fee service, all rates get updated and adjusted to cater for fluctuations.

How do I view a report on my prepaid meters?

Reports are available online. Simply login and view your meters and reports.

What does the administrative cover and who pays for it?

Generally the tenant pays for it as it is usually deducted from the recharge amount. This fee covers the services we provide and also the costs associated with gateway fees, SMS fees, USSD Fees, transmission charges, credit card commissions, cash deposit fees, banking fees, debit order fees etc.

Does the meter replace the council meter?

No. Our meter is placed in addition to a council meter. It doesn’t replace the council meter but is installed as an adjunct to the power distribution panel on the premises. A meter can control the power consumed in a house, apartment or a single room dwelling.

How Does a Tenant Buy Electricity?

There are a few options:

Option 1 - The tenant can go to thousands of locations (eg. Shell, BP,Caltex) and purchases a UniversalPin (“UniPin”). The tenant then goes to our website or uses their cellphone by simply inputting the Unipin & their meter number and we immediately reply with a numeric token which they enter into their meter. This process is identical to recharging a prepaid municipality meter but in your case this is your private meter which controls your premises as you see fit.

Option 2 - The tenant buys electricity online with their credit card and we reply with a recharge token.

Option 3 - The tenant deposits or EFTs money to our bank account and we SMS or email them a token.

Can arrear charges or other fees be applied to a meter's account?

Owners or Landlords are free to add or adjust their tenant's charges. However, it is not recommended to do so and the legalities of such charges should be checked in the respective region.

How do bills for services get settled with the utility provider?

Settlement for services depends on the method of payment by a tenant and the arrangement we have with the owner or landlord. Below are some examples:

Commonly, landlords are settled periodically from the money collected from their tenants. Generally settlements occur at the closing of a month and landlords are settled within 7 days of the subsequent month. Landlords then pay their utility provider.

Alternatively, we can pay the utility provider directly as done by our managed plan.

Variations occur depending on how tenants prefer to pay, for example: UniversalPins, POS Payments, Online Credit Card, EFT, Third party EFT, ACH (debit Orders) etc..

Can a single a meter supply 3 cottages?

No. If every cottage is occupied by different tenants then every tenant requires their own meter.

We have multiple townhouse complexes that require prepaid meters. How do we do it?

The following is an outline of the steps required for larger installations:

1 - Speak to one of our agents and determine which is the best deal for you. contact us

2 - If it's a new complex we would let the architect or builder know the required provisions which depend on a meter type and model.

3 - If it's an existing complex we would either send an electrician or liaise with your existing electrician to recommend the most suitable installation.

What are the terms and conditions of the landlord contract?

The terms and conditions of the Owner or Landlord contract are available online.

How many kilowatt hours do new meters have upon installation?

New meters are generally preloaded with 5kWh. For an average household this may last a few hours. Some meters have an "Overdraft" limit which would allow you to go to 15kWh before shutting down the power supply.