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    How prepaid electricity sub-meters can assist farmers with farm dwellings electrification

    As the much-anticipated rainy season begins across South Africa's main farming areas, we are reminded that the agricultural sector is an important and needed part of the country's economy. The biodiversity within the South African agricultural sector easily embraces the production of all the major grains (except rice), oilseeds, deciduous and subtropical fruits, sugar, citrus, wine and most vegetables, many of which are exported.
    Source: Free-Photos via
    Source: Free-Photos via Pixabay

    Despite South Africa’s booming agricultural diversity, the sector remains in a precarious situation partly due to its links to other business sectors in the economy, and the weather and climate change concerns affecting many regions in the country. General factors impacting on the industry overall include credit ratings downgrades, land reform concerns and a volatile exchange rate.

    The agricultural sector is also vulnerable to the knock-on effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, due to the happenings in other business sectors having a contagious effect on the agricultural vertical. In addition to this, energy supplies are expected to remain constrained in South Africa for some years to come. Against this background, managing costs can play a subtle but significant role in the survival of any farmer, whether large or small scale.

    Electricity accessibility

    The installation of prepaid electricity sub-meters can assist the owners and managers of agricultural properties as well as their employees to work smarter, together, with regards to energy costs. At the same time, the drive to make electricity accessible to all people within South Africa includes the electrification of households occupied by farm dwellers on private farms.

    There are two types of supply, namely the grid supply or the non-grid supply. For grid supply, there are two methods of supply that the farm dweller can choose from. The two methods include the indirect supply method and direct supply method.

    The choice of payment for consumption is left to the decision of the farmer, in consultation with the farm dwellers. Where payment is required, consumption meters must be installed. Recharger, for example, is therefore in a position to assist farmers with prepaid sub-meters to ensure that the farmers recover their revenue to make the payment for the main supply to the farm.

    Prepaid electricity meters are devices that help the users control and regulate the usage of electricity. They work very much like a prepaid cellphone, whereby you pay upfront before you use it, and therefore eliminate large unexpected monthly bills.

    Installing a prepaid electricity sub-meter will assist both farmers, and their workers who are tenants on the property, to work together in measuring and monitoring electricity consumption.

    The arena of prepaid electrical sub-meters is well-regulated and controlled, and there are certain recommended steps to be taken in acquiring and installing a prepaid electricity sub-meter:

    Acquiring your meter: Recharger has a national presence through several outlets. Our prepaid electricity sub-meters are also conveniently and efficiently available through our website, which is e-commerce enabled, as well as via Takealot.

    Installing and activating: A registered electrician must install the meter. Once the registration form is completed and sent to Recharger with the necessary documents, it will be processed and you will receive an SMS to notify you that your meter is activated.

    Registering your meter: It is easy to register your Recharger prepaid sub-meters. The registration forms are included with each sub-meter, and you can use one form for multiple sub-meters. Once the registration form is completed, take a clear photo and send the completed registration form back to Recharger via WhatsApp, fax or e-mail.

    Recharging: Use the unique number on each card that comes with your Recharger sub-meter to buy prepaid electricity tokens from a variety of online and mobile vendors, retail stores, banks and petrol stations. You will receive a credit token with a 20-digit number. Simply enter the number on your sub-meters keypad and press the red or blue button to recharge.

    Purchasing prepaid electricity tokens: Recharger prepaid electricity tokens can be purchased countrywide from numerous retail outlets like Checkers, Spar, Dischem, Shoprite or Boxer stores.

    Users can also get tokens at banks including FNB, Absa, Nedbank and Standard Bank, and petrol stations such as Shell, Sasol, Caltex, Engen and BP. Tokens may be bought online from the Recharger Pay Portal or PayCity, as well as from mobile vendors using Flash and Kazang.

    Taking all this into account, we believe that the installation of prepaid electricity sub-meters for employee accommodation on agricultural properties is a budgetary consideration that offers serious advantages for both large and small scale farms. The inadvertent over-consumption of electricity by employees who are also tenants becomes one less thing to worry about in the farmer’s busy working day.

    About Zachariya Lockhat

    Zachariya Lockhat is Business Development Head and Colin Openshaw, Consultant at Recharger Prepaid Meters.
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