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Thursday Nov 19, 2020

Smart homes now within reach and help save on utilities too

Technology is constantly evolving, changing how we engage with each other and the world around us. Smart watches tell us how many steps we take and monitor our heart and health. Our phones track every aspect of lives and allow us to browse dresses in Dublin and have them delivered in Durban. As the internet permeates every aspect of our lives, our homes are also connecting. Helping us to live more efficient lives and now, save us money too. 

Smart homes are gaining popularity, especially amongst the younger generations who have never known life without the internet, and many of whom already have smart assistants, like Alexa, in their homes. In fact, the number of smart homes is expected to surpass 300 million by 2023 and the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

What makes your home smart?

Simply put, by connecting objects in your home to the internet you are able to control them remotely and use the data they produce to optimise your home environment. Using IoT, or Internet of Things, tech means we can connect anything from a toaster to your home security system to the internet. 

This technology can make our lives easier in so many ways. Adjustable thermostats not only keep the ambient temperature at exactly the right level, but they work smartly, to ensure they are not on while you are at work, switching on only when you instruct them on your way home. Our fridges are able to restock themselves, ordering online and getting home delivery. 

One of the anomalies of this pandemic is how it has boosted the sales of smart appliances. Ovens and hobs which link to online recipes and ensure exact cooking times have become a real hit with the avid bread bakers, and remote viewing, via smartphone, of what’s inside a fridge can help separated families keep an eye on elderly relatives’ food requirements. 

For those planning their next holiday, home security systems can alert you via your phone when there are people in your home or on your property and you can set your lights to come on at different times while you are on holiday to make it look like your home is occupied. 

Even our gardens can benefit from new technology which senses the water content of the soil and can activate your irrigation system without your intervention. 

Smart cost savings

More than just the neat features of smart appliances, homeowners are realising that new technologies can help them manage costs. 

A survey conducted in the US and Canada showed that consumers were more than ready to engage with smart technology, including: smart thermostats; time-varying rates (demand-side management by smart meters); rooftop solar; and other clean energy and energy-savings technologies. In fact, it was the cost saving capability that attracted most participants, with 73% saying saving money was their main motivator for making the switch. 

Enabling your future starts with your meter

Enjoying the benefits of a smart home starts with ensuring that you are able to access near real time usage data. Smart prepaid meters play a significant role in automating and greening your home. This is because they have the ability to respond to energy usage and allow for remote control. 

The near real-time data from smart prepaid meters mean users can see exactly how their behaviour is affecting consumption. Just this heightened awareness has been shown to result in incremental changes that make a difference. Studies done in the UK show that bills are reduced by between five and nine percent which is already a significant improvement when utility costs are rising. 

Other benefits of smart prepaid meters include displays in rands and cents as well as kWh which helps sensitise users to how they are using power. The automated, accurate billing and detailed reports mean less admin, better management and fewer disputes between landlords and tenants. Landlords also benefit from immediate alerts in the event of tampering.  

One of the most exciting benefits of smart meters and smart home appliance is that while just a few years ago it was only the wealthiest who could afford these technologies, today the prepaid meters are reaching price parity with older, dumb terminals and smart appliances are extremely competitive. 

All of this is great news for local consumers looking to enjoy a more responsive home environment and a more efficient future.   

About Citiq Prepaid
Citiq Prepaid is the biggest and fastest growing prepaid sub-meter and utility vending system provider in South Africa, trusted by electrical contractors, property owners, property developers and specifiers, wholesalers and retailers, and tenants. Since 2010, Citiq Prepaid has vended tokens worth 850 GWh of electricity (equivalent to 25 years of the output of one 4MWh power station) through several hundred thousand active meters across the country. Our goal is to provide innovative, transparent products and solutions that support and give everyone the power to manage their utilities. Our proprietary software enables detailed reports to better track and manage electricity and water consumption, which helps eliminate unexpected costs, quickly resolve disputes and simplifies payment collection - so utilities can stay on. For more information please visit:

Media contacts
Citiq Prepaid: GM of marketing, Mariska Burger,, 082-564-7714
Semaphore Communications, Elzaan Rohde,, 083-256-1493?


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