My previous article “Buying electricity via mobile cell phone or online” listed many ways of purchasing prepaid electricity online and with a credit card.
Most online sites offer the service for free and you still get your free units per month.
I was looking for a service where I could purchase electricity (for no extra charge) using my credit card.
I wanted to be able to use my PC or my cell phone's browser or use SMS to purchase.
Using my credit card is much more convenient (no more queuing for cash, and for purchasing the electricity), and so it's safer too! [those ATMs are becoming dangerous]
Additionally, if I run out of electricity in the middle of the night then I can purchase more by sending an SMS from home.
Oh, and the cherry on the top is that the bill comes at the end of the month along with "reward points" and even cash back discount.
Here is an updated list of sites that I’ve found that cater for City of Cape Town electricity:
My preferred choice, after analysing all the options that I could find is Powertime. Their offering seems the most complete, with apps for most mobile devices as well as a nifty web site with add-ons like virtual meter and a graphical analysis of your electricity usage, and lots of energy saving tips.
A couple of emails to their support email address relating to credit card fees were answered quickly and with the requested information (and more).
Powertime’s web site warns that purchasing using your credit card could attract a fee “… between 0% and 5% VAT inclusive of the transaction value”. An email query later, and I found out that this service fee depends on whether the municipality reimburses credit card costs or not. It turns out that there is no service fee for Cape Town meters. To be sure, send them an email with your meter number and they will confirm the service fee.
Note that the purchase of electricity in Cape Town has to be done via SMS due to restrictions set by the municipality.
You can setup SMS vending on the Powertime website in: “Electricity” –> “Buy Electricity” –> “Set up SMS vending” section.
(EFTs are all free of charge. )
The service is available 24/7 via the following channels:
- Powertime Web site www.powertime.co.za or mobi site m.powertime.co.za,
- iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch Powertime applications which can be downloaded from Apple App store on iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/app/powertime/id345272537?mt=8 or search for Powertime),
- Android Powertime app, which can be downloaded from Google Play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.methys.powertime or
the Samsung Android app store: http://www.samsungapps.com/topApps/topAppsDetail.as?productId=G00002564713
- BlackBerry Powertime application on the RIM App store: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/11271
- Nokia Powertime application which can be downloaded from the Nokia app store: http://store.ovi.com/content/105666
Twitter: @powertime_za and Facebook
You can also pay your other municipality bills and cellular airtime too.
You can even make some money by referring your friends to Powertime – Login, then follow the “Refer a friend” link to send your friend an email. When they spend their first R350 on electricity, then you will get R30 in your PayGenius wallet :)
Here is some more info on Powertime:
Another company that offers purchasing prepaid electricity online and using SMS is ItronEnergy.
FNB mobile: dial *120*321# from your cell phone and navigate thru the menus.
www.ibuy.co.za you can save your setting so that you can easily buy from your phone (no fees, as far as I can see):
EFT only - no credit card: PrePaid24.co.za
No credit card purchases, but EFTs are processed under 5 minutes (24/7). Also offers airtime.