Geyser ban to save 300MW

via Geyser ban to save 300MW | The Herald September 28, 2015

Government will officially launch the national domestic solar water heating programme on Wednesday that will promote the use of solar powered geysers which will save about 300 megawatts. The 300 megawatts that would be saved when electric geysers are banned in the near future would be more than half the electricity being generated at any power station in the country.

Energy and Power Development permanent secretary Mr Partson Mbiriri said in a statement yesterday that the country has about 250 000 electric geysers which are contributing to the high demand of power by consuming about 40 percent of domestic usage. “Zimbabwe is currently facing an acute power shortage and it has been identified that substantial power is consumed by domestic electric geysers,” he said.

“One way of mitigating the power shortage is to substitute electric geysers with solar geysers.” Mr Mbiriri said his ministry in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, ZESA Holdings and the Rural Electrification Agency has embarked on a national solar water heating programme to mitigate the power shortage.

“It will soon be a requirement that all new buildings or structures are to be fitted with solar geysers and not electric geysers,” he said. “Electric geysers in old buildings must also be replaced with solar geysers.” The launch of the national domestic solar water heating programme will run under the theme: “Stimulating economic growth and saving energy through harnessing natural resources”.

“The launch is expected to be attended by energy experts as well as Government officials, local authorities, diplomats, business community, farmers, bankers, miners and residents associations, among others,” he said. Mr Mbiriri said the programme was expected to stimulate economic growth through employment creation as the solar geysers are to be manufactured in Zimbabwe.

According to the Zimbabwe Power Company, the country is generating about 984MW, with Hwange generating 414MW, Kariba 500MW, Harare Power Station 30MW, Munyati 22MW and Bulawayo 18MW. In an interview with our Bulawayo Bureau last week, Mr Mbiriri said his ministry was crafting a Statutory Instrument that would make it criminal for anyone to use electric geysers.

As soon as the Statutory Instrument is gazetted, those with electric geysers would be given time to replace them with the solar-powered ones. Of late, the country has been experiencing massive load-shedding and power supply disruptions, resulting in many Zimbabweans spending hours in the dark.

According to the latest load-shedding schedule, most residential areas will go from 4am to 10pm without power. The situation has forced many residents to use other energy sources such as LP gas, wood and solar, while others use generators. Although Zesa has attributed the power cuts to reduced water levels at the Kariba Dam, Mr Mbiriri said last week that no meaningful investment in additional power generation were done since 1987.

According to Government, electricity supply is expected to improve in 2018 when projects on improving Harare and Bulawayo power stations are complete.


  • comment-avatar
    reporter 7 years ago


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    this sounds a lot like zanu pf.
    do nothing until the crisis strikes
    and then lay the blame on others
    and propose a solution entirely at the expense of others
    and then buy new cars for the military

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    Changamire Dombo 7 years ago

    Next time they will tell us to stop charging cellphones in houses but to use car chargers.

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    Barry Groulx 7 years ago

    Another unenforceable piece of legislation. I use gas and have done for some time. It isn’t as good as solar, but I’ll go solar when the “government” foots the bill. And by the way, are these idiots going to be able to supply any water to go IN anyone’s geysers?

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    Rwendo 7 years ago

    Promoting solar (as opposed to punishing consumers for government’s own incompetence) is forward thinking and the way to go in the long run. However, it would have been more thoughtful to design a staggered system for electricity charges, so that high consumption would push one into higher brackets of charges per unit of electricity. With inbuilt flexibility to allow for individual appeals in unusual housing circumstances.

    That way people could choose: to fork out a lot of money; or to learn to switch off geysers at certain times; or to opt to replace their electric with solar geysers.

    The Rhodesians (due to real sanctions) managed to run a functional coupon system for fuel that was based on estimated consumption and number of licensed cars per individual. So it is possible with a thinking, forward planning, non corrupt government – as opposed to this inconsiderate, quick-fix, crisis management crew.

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    We could get our money by selling our cars (third number plates–the fire extinguisher– and the new number plates)and then ALL buy solar geysers would that help!! these people have the combined intelligence of a can of worms but not as pretty!!