Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Sunday News Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has reduced its tariffs for domestic consumption following a public outcry by customers after the tariffs were increased by more than 50 percent at the beginning of the month.
ZETDC has also introduced a new tariff band for purchases of units between 301 to 400 while purchases in excess of 400 have been reduced to a maximum charge of ZWL$ 9.80 per kWh.
Under the new tariffs band, the first 50 units cost ZWL$1.63 per kwh, 51 to 100 units cost ZWL$3.27 per kwh while 101 to 200 units now ZWL$5.72 per kWh. The units have been reduced to $3.12 per kwh from $4.88 per kWh. The purchase of 201-300 Units is now ZWL$ 8.17 per kWh while the new band of 301-400 Units is ZWL$ 8.39 per kWh and 401 units and above will be charged ZWL$9.80 per kWh. The new tariffs are with immediate effect.
Pre-paid consumers were paying ZWL$1,67 per kWh for the first 50 units, ZWL$3,65 for 51-200 and ZWL$9,92 each for 201-300 units.
Consumers were being charged ZWL$15,57 per unit if they intend to buy more than 300 units per month before the new band was introduced. This meant that customers were now being charged ZWL$83,50 for the first 50 units ZWL$ 547,50 for 51-200 units and those who wished to buy extra were paying ZWL$992,00 for 201-300 units and those intending to buy more than 300 units per month would pay ZWL$1 623,00.
Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) chief executive officer Eddington Mazambani said the tariffs were reviewed after wide consultations.
“What happened is that we had to cap the maximum domestic tariff to an equivalent of US$0.12/kWh. The tariffs were agreed upon after wide consultation,” he said.
Meanwhile, the country has now reduced electricity imports from 400 megawatts (MW) to between 150 to 200 MW after the power generation capacity rose to 1200 MW against a national demand of 1400 MW. Energy and Power Development Minister Cde Soda Zhemu said Government was also servicing the debts with its energy suppliers.
“Power imports are a function of available internal generation capacity versus demand. Our internal power generation averages 1200MW against a demand profile of 1400Mw. Our imports therefore ranges between 150 -200mw. This is also dependent on availability. There are times when exporters are not producing enough hence not sending to the power pool. We are servicing the debts that are current with Eskom,” he said.