UTILITIES MANAGEMENT MAKES GOOD BUSINESS SENSE
Deteriorating and unstable supply of electricity from ESCOM and the unreliable delivery of services by collapsing municipalities country-wide, has exacerbated the move by consumers towards alternative, more sustainable, smart energy solutions. Increasingly the implementation and management of suitable utility tools to minimise scheme costs and mitigate scheme risks, when users do not pay levy contributions/ utility costs, is becoming an essential part of the administration of community schemes.
“Poor utilities management and the absence of metering to move end-user utility costs out of the common costs basket can lead to a number of issues for bodies corporate and the like,” says CEO of ZDFin, Michael Schaefer. “For example, utility costs escalations; an inability by a scheme to service utility debt; disconnection or restriction of utility services due to non-payment; owners who pay and/ or conserve utilities suffering the consequences of those who do not pay or waste.”
“From a scheme perspective, it is hugely beneficial to have utility management solutions which ensure an equitable allocation of costs between end-users and its ideal if the scheme is not at all exposed to end utility user costs. Prepaid metering is theoretically a preferred option where internal metering is the only option available to a scheme – this does however, need support by owners by way of special resolution and places an obligation on the scheme to ensure that the constitutional rights of occupiers to access basic services are not infringed.”
Recently significant amendments to the Electricity Regulation Act 4 of 2006 were published in the Government Gazette. Of particular importance to the sectional title industry, is the amendment that provides for a community scheme to operate its own power plant without registering with, and procuring a license through, the NERSA National Energy Regulator of South Africa. This regulation basically means that a complex can feed excess electricity back into the grid and receive a rebate from the municipality.
“It makes sense for home-owners to be in charge of how they consume and manage energy and water use, as well as making changes that contribute to a more sustainable, cleaner and greener future,” Schaefer says. “Many pre-paid/ smart meter companies are now offering financing for solar installations to body corporates, as a further way to give home-owners the opportunity to be less dependent on the national grid. It stands to reason that being more in control can also bring about behavioural changes and in turn savings. It’s a win-win all round.”
ZDFin’s trusted and dependable network of key professionals such as engineers, builders, plumbers, solar specialists etc. are able to give clients timeous, long lasting solutions to the real issues facing community schemes now… as they prepare to navigate the energy and water issues ahead of them in the future.
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ABOUT ZDFIN – https://zdfin.co.za
ZDFin is a specialist finance company providing smart solutions for Sectional Title Bodies Corporate, Home Owners’ Associations and Share Block companies. We service all residential Community Schemes affected by the Community Ombud Service Act, including non-profit companies and voluntary associations governed by a constitution. ZDFin has a wealth of practical experience in property and financial management. We understand these challenges and our range of targeted financial products can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual scheme.
CEO, Michael Schaefer was previously a director and shareholder at Trafalgar, the country’s biggest residential property administration company, started by his father over 50 years ago. His move to establish ZDFin was in part motivated by the 2016 Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act.