Eskom – Pay for Two and Only Get One

I am well aware of the need to save energy and applaud anyone who does so. I am also well aware that conventional business practice rewards those that buy larger amounts of one product with a sliding scale tariff that makes the per unit price cheaper the more one buys of a product.

The next round of electricity increases on 1 July 2012 will see some domestic electricity consumers being slapped with a 34.6% increase on the sliding scale of tariffs based on the reverse logic principle of; “the more you use the more you pay”.

Let’s compare electricity with say nicotine. It is a well known fact that nicotine kills and electricity saves lives. I don’t see a differential tariff being applied to nicotine where a carton of cigarettes is more expensive than buying the same amount of packets individually or as ‘entjies’! And yet, in the name of saving energy, we have Eskom applying this logic to electricity.

Frankly, I don’t see the carrot being applied here at all – just a big stick with the hand of the Artful Dodger dangling from it.

Once again obtuse, confusing acronyms are being used to divert your attention from the Artful Dodger. Whoever thought up the term “Inclining Block Tariff (IBT)” needs to be spanked severely. What in goodness name is meant by Inclining Block Tariff? Let’s have some plain English here and say something like; “The Higher Usage Makes you Poorer (THUMP)” or “Tariff Increases To Sting (TITS)”.

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) made a decision on 24 February 2010 to implement an inclining block tariff (IBT) concurrently with the price increase to all existing Eskom residential/domestic tariffs.

The IBT is designed in such a way that the more electricity one consumes, the higher one’s average price, on a monthly basis. (Frankly, I think that this is just more smoke and mirrors to make an already complicated structure even more so.)

The Nelson Mandela Bay Council approved the following DOMESTIC inclining block tariffs with effect from 1 July 2012:

It is said that only 10% of domestic consumers in Nelson Mandela Bay consume more than an average of 660 kWh per month.

According to the municipality, Pre-Paid Electricity will be affected as follows: The on-line vending system will keep track of purchase and allocate IBT to the relevant block, based on the purchases in any calendar month. Consumers are further advised to purchase electricity on a monthly basis and not in bulk, as no leftover units can be converted to a new month at a cheaper rate (Makes me glad that I did not convert to pre-paid as those who did are guaranteed to lose out every month now).