How much money Eskom makes per customer

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In its financial report for 2016, Eskom reported solid results which saw a significant jump in revenue, and massive strides in its cost saving practices.

Eskom’s bottom line profit for the year ending 31 March 2016 was R4.6 billion.

Revenue rose 10.6% to R163.4 billion. The public utility’s EBITDA increased by 37.4% to R32 billion, up from R23.3 billion reported in the previous year.

Cost savings reached R17.5 billion, above the R13.4 billion target and surpassing the previous year’s R9 billion – and 57% of funding for 2016/2017 has been secured, according to CEO, Brian Molefe.

Eskom has about 5.7 million customers in South Africa, broken down into various categories, including residential customers, redistributors, commercial customers and sectoral customers.

The largest number of customers are residential customers, which amount to 5.55 million (including public lighting and pre-paid customers) – though they bring in the 4th largest amount in revenue to the utility.

Redistributors (municipalities and metros) – of which there are 801 – bring in five times as much, each supplying to the customers attached to it.

After residential customers, agricultural and commercial customers make up the next biggest groups of users attached directly to Eskom.

According to Eskom, in the 2016 financial year, it made 214 487GWh in sales, largely to municipalities.

  • 41.8% Municipalities
  • 23.4% Industrial
  • 14.3% Mining
  • 6.3% International
  • 5.6% Residential
  • 4.7% Commercial
  • 2.7% Agriculture
  • 1.2% Rail

Notably, municipalities put additional fees onto the price of electricity, pushing costs up, while Eskom gets most of the grief for high prices.

From 1 July 2016, consumers who receive their power from municipalities would have seen electricity prices jump by about 7.64%, on top of the 9.4% increase on Eskom’s prices.

Electricity sales make up 28.3% of municipal revenue in South Africa, though many struggle to collect on outstanding debt, which in turn causes them to fail on paying Eskom. In 2015, Eskom threatened to cut off municipalities that failed to pay their dues.

The table below details how much Eskom made, on average, per customer.

Customer Number Revenue (Rm) Average
Redistributors 801 R66 396 R82 891 386
Mining 1 013 R23 895 R23 588 351
Industrial 2 733 R31 412 R11 493 597
Rail 509 R2 755 R5 412 574
Commercial 50 816 R10 157 R199 878
Agricultural 82 450 R7 349 R89 133
Residential 5 550 307 R12 884 R2 321
Total (incl. other) 5 688 640 R163 014 R28 656

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