Ownership of residential or commercial properties is often shared by multiple owners, with individual owners owning one or more sections within the dwelling or complex. There usually exists a body corporate comprised of a number of owners, whose role is to manage and oversee the scheme and to attend to certain environmental and financial issues regarding the operation of the property.
In these situations, the property is frequently supplied utilities in bulk and a common meter system is used to measure the global consumption of all the sections within the common property. read more...
The prepaid meter installation can be carried out in existing buildings and in new buildings, with prepaid submeters being installed before the bulk supply reaches the common distribution board.
The council bulk meter will supply the prepaid meters in each of the units. In existing buildings, where submeters are already installed, they can be either left in place or completely removed.
The image below shows an example of a possible meter layout:
A nominal cost is charged for the meter plus installation starting from only R 850. This includes:
Manufactured by a renowned international manufacturer, who is also a recognised supplier of Eskom, our prepaid meters are easy to use. Calibration of the meters is according to specifications stipulated by Eskom. All meters include built-in measures against tampering to prevent any means of bypassing the system.
View details of the different meter types and models by clicking here.
Purchase of a meter also includes, at no additional charge, the following features and services:
It is common for utilities to be supplied in bulk to the property, whereby a single common meter system is employed to measure the overall consumption of all the sections and of the common shared areas of the complex. Following this there may or may not be additional submeters.
In the case where submeters are not installed, apportionment of the utility bill is often calculated using the “participation quota” which method attempts to determine equitable apportionment on the basis of calculating ratios, either by number of occupants or by square-meter area. However because of variations in utilization and consumption patterns, this method is often inaccurate and fraught with problems and can be the cause of frequent disputes and complaints from owners within the scheme.
In the case where submeters have been installed the situation is improved as the meter for each section can be individually measured and therefore accurately billed. The sum of all the meter readings from the sections can then be subtracted from the bulk meter reading to determine the amount of electricity consumed in the common areas. This can then be apportioned by means of the “participation quota” method previously mentioned, to each section's utility account.
Where submeters are used these provide an improvement on the case where there are none, but neither situation is perfect as payment for the utilities charged still needs to be collected once billed.
As is often the case in such a scheme, there are people of disparate financial means and circumstances. The result is that revenue collection management for the scheme is a task that requires constant administration in terms of sending out reminders, debt collection and calculation and impementation and collection of late payment charges. Meanwhile the body corporate or appointed managing agent is still required to settle the utility billed received via the bulk meter account.
The amount of electricity consumed in such situations is generally significant and carries with it significant liabilities. Without the aid of a prepaid metering solution, the financial situation of the body corporate may be impacted adversely, resulting in contraction of the body corporate cash flow. Since utility bills must be settled in order to avoid discontinuation of supply, the body corporate must often divert service or maintenance funds in order to balance shortfalls.
In the longer term, this can clearly lead to further problems such as general degradation of the complex or building with subsequent negative impact on health & safety, up-keep and improvement.
XPressPrepaid metering systems present the ideal solution for collection and management of utility revenues in body corporate environments. When installed as submeter devices at the mains distribution board located within each dwelling area or section, our prepaid meters can be used to meter and govern the utility supply regardless of whether submeters are already installed or not.
Once installed our prepaid metering system ensures that all owners or their tenants are required to pre-pay for utilitiies in advance of supply. The result is immediate improvement in cash flow of the body corporate. Moreover, installation of our prepaid metering solution obviates any need for independent meter reading services and the consequent costs of these.
In addition to these important benefits, the problem of paying for utility consumption on common property areas of the scheme is also resolved. The body corporate will be able to monitor consumption of each unit and online reporting is available.
Prepaid metering offers effective solutions to many problems encountered by body corporates, including cash flow, which is invariably critically important for the financial health of any body corporate.