Eskom ordered to refund consumer R1.5million for fictitious invoicing

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) has ruled against Eskom's fictitious invoicing for a small mining company.

This comes after Eskom's management incorrectly blamed the customer for meter tampering and meter failure, as their meter readings were lower than the utility's estimated readings.

Eskom decided to declare the company's meter as faulty without informing them. The utility replaced their device while adjusting the mine's bill upwards by more than R1.5m.

Energy Expert Coalition's Ted Blom, recently represented this mining company which, as a result of a downturn in the market, has been forced to significantly cut production and subsequently electricity consumption.

The mine, in a desperate situation because of plummeting sales, contacted Blom who within two arbitration meetings, rubbished Eskom’s claims by proving that their billing was fictitious, and an amount of over R1.5m should be refunded.

NERSA, who oversaw the arbitration, agreed and ordered Eskom to issue a refund to the mine.

Blom said it has come to his attention that there are many more instances of over-invoicing by Eskom against consumers.

"These include smaller clients and municipalities, the latter of which could amount to the bulk of the R9.6billion 'Eskom arrears' which is threatening to collapse South Africa’s Municipal infrastructure countrywide," said Blom.

He highlights that more than 80% of municipalities are bankrupt solely because of outstanding debt to Eskom.

"Eskom and municipal customers need to scrutinize their monthly accounts in detail. And if Network charges or fixed charges on the monthly electricity invoice exceeded 30% of consumption charges, the consumer is in all probability being ripped off.”

Copies of the Nersa ruling can also be viewed on this link as well as complaint forms if assistance is required.

The Star

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