Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Prepaid electricity meter

  1. Nov 2, 2006 #1
    hi there! i don't have this project, i just want to know if anyone can help me. im a graduating student and i would like to proposed prepeid electricity meter as our thesis proposal. can somebody help me? or give me other ideas as a thesis proposal.. thanks alot and god bless... :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2006 #2
    hi there! im a graduating student and my group proposed prepaid electricity meter as out thesis proposal. may somebody help us? thanks s lot and GOD BLESSS......
  4. May 8, 2007 #3
    Prepaid Electricity Meters in South Africa have been in use for several years. There are two types manufactured in South Africa. Those used by city councils and sub metering or private prepaid metering.

    In both cases the meter will be manufactured with a code that allows the owner to purchase electricity tokens. Each area or town will have its own code so that individuals, companies using their prepaid meters will only be able to get recharge tokens from the City or area who installed the meters.

    The same applies to private prepaid meters. These are installed in Granny flats or rented units that have eletricity metered from a bulk or single municiple meter. The Tenants in rented units have no idea of their electricial consumption unless metered. The easiest method to get tenants to pay for electricity in advance to their landlords is for the landlord to install a private prepaid meter in a Granny flat.

    How does it work

    The landlord ownes the meter and the rights to purchase recharge electrical tokens from the manufacture. He sells these to his tenants in advance of electricity being comsumed. The token has a unique number on it which is coded to each individual meter serial number. The tenant can receive this number from his landlord via SMS, Email, Fax. Once received the number is punched into the keypad of the meter and the meter becomes energized in Kilowatt hours. This is shown on the digital display of the meter and before electricity runs out the tenant will have to recharge again.

    In South Africa Landlords are required by law to be responsible for their electrical bills on property that may be rented. It is not ideal to leave a Tenant with an electricity acccount in the Tenants name. This is subject to abuse and causes problems when Tenants vacate premises without settling their electricity accounts.


    The best method to resolve the problem is to fir private Prepaid Electricity Meters and be insured of payment in advance before electricity is consumed.

    Town Councils are largely changing to Prepaid Electricity Meters because they also receive payment in advance of electricity being consumed. In conventional methods a Town Council will only receive revenue 2 months after it has being consumed and perhaps never from defaulters leaving premises without paying.
  5. Nov 7, 2007 #4
    prepaid electricity meters


    I'am trying to apply on easy pay for prepiad services. Do any of you know were to look for your meter number? I treid two numbers one 11 digits and the other 26 digits but it keeps on telling me invalid meter number. Can any one of you guys or girls please help me.

  6. Nov 7, 2007 #5

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    If the meter has not been tampered, most utilities have already placed a tag with the meter number so it can be read easily. Look at eye-level down to the meter from two feet away. The meter reader/technician has to be able to identify the right meter with ease. So it is an obvious tag, like a metal-looking decal you are searching for. It will not be in an obscure place, like underneath the meter, unless the meter is installed above your eye-level.

    If the tag is defaced you have a problem.
  7. Nov 7, 2007 #6
    I only have a bar code at eye level, but I already trided that number.
    So i think I have a problem.

    Thanks for your help anyway & enjoy your day.
  8. May 4, 2008 #7
    Prepaid Electricity

    The "South African" model is "Old School", the STS Tokens used are a "sneakernet" communications method. If you are looking for a modern method of enabling prepaid electricity for either a project or your dorns, take a look at what are often described as "smart meters" like the echelon models. They have 2 way communications using a low freq carrier on the power lines, thet provides communications for automatic meter reading and control. Important to prepaid electricity are features like an automatic disconnect in every meter, and capabilities like "emergency credits". Utiliflex (see utiliflex.com) has software and services that integrates with these 3rd generation smart meters and enabled prepaid via the web, email, text and IVR. Electricity can even be purchased via a cash scratch card system called "juice Cards". "Juice" also provides integrated legacy support for the old token based pre-paid meters and has a couple of colleges using it for dorm electricity management. True smart meters support prepaid electricity, as well as a bunch of other features such as variable rate billing, extremely detailed usage reporting.

    Possible Thesis projects include: Do pre-paid customers use electricity smarter?
    and/or does variable time of use (most of the USA is flat rate) actually billing change usage patterns?

    Disclaimer: I work for UtiliFlex and while our main market is utility companies, we support smaller instalations (100-1000 meters) as well. We are specifically looking for research and might be able to support a real research/thesis project based on smart metering and/or prepaid electricity.

    --Mike the Geek, aka meuon from geeklabs.com and utiliflex.com
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook