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Landlord vs. Tenant, sub-billing and best electricity tariff

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, you have to pay an electricity bill. This potentially boring subject is often overlooked, yet it can have financial consequences to both parties. With a basic understanding of tariffs and energy metering, the landlord/tenant billing landscape can be more transparent, ensuring that no one is over- or under-charged. You have the right to be on the best possible electricity tariff.

Landlord vs. Tenant, sub-billing and best electricity tariff

If you are investigating your billing landscape, the first place to start is to read your lease agreement to understand what was agreed upon with respect to the billing of electricity. As a tenant, you are allowed to be on the best available electricity tariff, which means that your landlord should be billing you in accordance with one of the local municipality’s electricity tariff structures. Conversely, landlords are also entitled to be billed at the best possible electricity tariff.

best electricity tariffFor example, a large office park in Cape Town receives its bill from the City, namely Large Power User Medium Voltage. The office park management company (landlord) bills its tenants on a different tariff that is based on each tenant’s size in terms of power usage. In this instance they are billed on the Small Power User 1 tariff scheme. Collectively, the monthly cost allocation for the tenant’s combined bills exceeds that of the bill received by the landlord, so the landlord is in essence making a profit. As long as the landlords and tenants are on the best available electricity tariff and are billed precisely according to these tariff structures, then this is legal.

Transparency between the landlord and its tenants helps to provide accountability. This can be achieved by independent energy measurement. With an online platform that is visible to both parties, there can be no disputing the bill. Online energy monitoring will make it easier raising the bill for tenants and also provides a means with which to do energy management to achieve savings across the board.

Check your bill today, and make sure you are on the best electricity tariff available. Call Power-Star for assistance.Power-Star Energy Intelligence


  1. Cost of online meter monitor for residential use

  2. Hi Michael,
    Thank you for your question. Check your inbox for our answers.

  3. I I have tenants in an apartment and receive the bill from joburg connect. Do I only bill the tenant the usage or do I bill the service charges as well. The bill is only for that apartment and the service and network charges are high. Do I bill the tenant for this as well.

  4. Do I bill my tenant for the bill as received from joburg connect which includes network and service charges. They rent the whole apartment to which the bill refers.

    • Hi Anne,

      Thank you for reading our post. Service charges are normally covered by the monthly rent. Usage are not included in the rent and is billed separately. Your question will be best answered by a rental agent.

  5. we are renting a commercial space in W.C. the previous owner gave us the municipal bill, the new owner is charging us electricity for the space used.
    is this legal?

    • Hi Gerald,
      There are too many variables to give you a definitive answer without all the facts. Safest would be to study your contract for the utilities clause and clarify this with your rental agent.

      We specialise in metering your consumption, power factor and peak demand usage for energy management, bill verification and tariff comparison purposes.

  6. Our lease stipulates that we are responsible for the electricity, water and sewerage on the house we are renting (no further details).
    Our landlord just sent us the full invoice from city of Joburg which includes service charge and network charge (that collectively amount to more than our consumption total for the month). Are we responsible for the service and network charges? Thank you!

    • Hi Jo,

      Please see email send to you. In a nutshell, your contract should stipulate what fees your are responsible for.

      Normally, service charges are included in the rent amount and consumption are billed separately.


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