For the 2012/13 electricity prices go to

The City of Cape Town has simplified the electricity tariff structure and no longer includes a separate service charge.  It works on the basis of you get what you pay for.  As of 1 July, there are two basic tariff categories for households namely: LIFELINE  & DOMESTIC.

Gas 24 LP Gas Distributor in the Fish Eagle Park, Kommetjie in the Scenic South PeninsulaIf you think that electricity is expensive now, I have bad news for you.  Electricity in Cape Town is set to rise 415%  calculated from 2006 to 2015. So whereas a unit of electricity supplied to a residence in 2006 cost 30 cents, by 2015 it will cost us 161 Cents.  Residences in Cape Town currently account for 43% of the City’s Electricity consumption a large slice of which is consumed by the higher income brackets, who until the price hikes have had little incentive to be energy efficient.  Electricity prices are rising because ESKOM needs to sell electricity at a higher price (to fund new-build projects) AND because the City is using price increases especially in the top consumer bracket to encourage residents to use electricity efficiently.

It is not just about energy supply, Capetonians have one of the highest per capita carbon footprints in the world, and the City has a moral and economic responsibility to reduce CO2 emissions.   The good news is that it is possible to become a whole lot more energy efficient, and by using less, to buffer the rising cost.

Reducing your electricity consumption so that you fall into the Lifeline tariff, is the reward for an energy efficient lifestyle. It saves rands and we are compensated for some of the lifestyle changes – like short showers instead of long hot baths  – by the knowledge that we have reduced our impact on an Earth sweltering under the energy demands of too many humans.


Households that use less than 450 kWh per month on average over a 12 month period qualify for the LIFELINE category. In the Lifeline Category each month that you use less than 450 kWh you receive the first 50 kWh free.   See the cost structure below.

Tariff Category Electricity consumed in kWh Charge at Cents / kWh
Lifeline Block 1 0 – 150 kWh 61,60
Lifeline Block 2 150 – 350 kWh 81,04
Lifeline Block 3 350 – 600 kWh 107,43
Lifeline Block 4 600 + kWh 118,06


Households that use more than 450 kWh per month on average fall in the Domestic Use Category. In this Category you do not qualify for the free 50 kWh even if you use less than 450 kWh in a particular month.  See the cost structure below.

Tariff Category Electricity consumed in kWh Charge at Cents / kWh
Domestic Block 1 0 – 600  kWh 107,43
Domestic Block 2 600 + kWh 118,06

Note:  If you are using less than 450kWh on average over a 12 month period you should be automatically placed on the Lifeline tariff structure. If this does not happen, contact the City of CT on their call line 0800 220 440 to have your tariff status reviewed.

For the overwhelming majority of Cape Townians, reducing your electricity consumption to 450kWh per month is entirely doable.

My family is a case in point – a family of four, including two teenagers, who live in a larger than average home and have managed to reduce our consumption to the lifeline tariff.  Although reduced costs are a welcome bonus, for us Lifeline is about living in a way that provides a Lifeline for future generations. In Summer we use well below 450kWh and manage to accumulate units on our electricity meter to balance our family’s increased energy needs in Winter.

How we do it – key pointers.

1. We don’t have a pool.  If you have a pool, hibernate it in Winter and reduce the hours that the pump works in Summer.

2. Our electric geyser is set 55 Degrees.

3. The geyser and the hot-water pipes have been so well insulated that they loose very little heat.  As a result we do not need to switch the geyser on and off. (Watch this spot for a paper on insulating geysers –  to be published within two weeks.)  We are busy installing a second geyser which will use only Solar energy (not Solar & ESKOM ).

4.  We do not use electric space heating, but dress warmly and use our fire place on particularly cold evenings to warm the house.

5.  We have insulated the ceilings of our home with insulation made from fire proof recycled cardboard.

6. We use heavy bottomed pots that cook efficiently and a smallish convection oven for everyday cooking.

7. The washing machine washes clothes at 30 Degrees.

8. The tumble drier has become a white elephant as we wind dry linen and clothing.

9. Much to our teenagers regret, the dishwasher is fast becoming a white elephant with the exception of particularly busy days.

10. Our indoor lighting is all low energy.

The good news is that we are not suffering from withdrawal symptoms caused by  trying to beat the `energy addiction’ .   While some of our lifestyle changes may not be considered `cool’  by the standards of let-your-mod-con-appliances-do-it-all for you, my husband and I know (the teenagers are still being persuaded) that we are being really COOL for our one and only Planet EARTH and our children’s future.

Please send in your `Cool’  for the Earth energy saving tips so that we can share the learning.

Go to: to read the energy saving tips of the City of Cape Town.


For all your LP gas requirements see

Gas 24 LP Gas and Gas products distributor and services in Fish Eagle Park, Kommetjie