David Lipschitz on Net Metering in South Africa

SAAEA 2 August 2012.

South Africa is in a recession largely because of lack of electricity supply. This can easily and cost effectively be resolved by allowing Net Metering. By July this year, private citizens in Cape Town will be able to make their own electricity cheaper than we can buy it. And I have financial numbers which show that larger companies can already make their own electricity cheaper than they can buy it.

With Net Metering, users of electricity can buy and sell electricity at the same price. For example, if I produce 1 KW and need 2 KW, then I buy 1 KW from the Grid. Effectively, my meter is going slower than normal. And if I produce 2 KW and need 1 KW then I export electricity to the grid and my meter goes backwards at the same speed it goes forwards. This only happens with people who pay for their electricity in arrears and who have the old fashioned disk meters which look like small metal CDs. Prepaid meters either stop working, stop turning, or go forwards when one is exporting to the grid!

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