Harare has received regular power since mid-December (is it different in your area?). This is something that we were not used to.
Recently we spoke about how the figures surrounding power generation and consumption were just not making sense to us all.
Comments to that article on various social media platforms and our investigations have given us 4 reasons why the power utility may be doing what they should be doing.
1. More Power, More Money
ZESA are in the business of selling electricity and the more they keep you disconnected the less revenue they are able to generate. Most households have prepaid meters installed and gone are the days were ZESA could just bill their customers based on ‘estimates’, with them now getting paid only when users buy more units. If they don’t provide power, you will not need to replace the units that you bought last month as they will still be available.
2. Importing From External Sources
Late last year it was mentioned that ZESA was to start importing power from South Africa’s ESKOM, while early this year it was said that power would be imported from Mozambique. With the challenges that the electricity suppliers is faced with, this excess power being import should be enough to keep the lights on.
3. Company Closures
When the above may point to an increase in the supply of power, this reason actually looks at the alternative; reduction in demand. We have read of Sable Chemicals turned switched off, but were they any other companies in its industry who had the same effect? Or have mines and huge power consumers started to import their own electricity directly?
4. Pending Increment
ZESA have cried that the amount that they are billing for their power is uneconimical for them and they are in need of an urgent increase. The Minister in charge of Energy and Power Development Samuel Undenge has reiterated the call for an increase. However, in order for an increase to be effected approval needs to come from the energy regulator ZERA (Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority) and there needs to be agreement from industry and consumers for such an increase. Could ZESA be trying to coerce its customers to give it a favourable decision from ZESA?
If you have anything more to the issue, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.