The government Tuesday considered measures proposed to manage increased demand for electricity which is being attributed to increased activity in the economy. The local power utility, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) recently increased load-shedding countrywide. The country’s power generators are producing insufficient electricity and imported power is not enough to plug the shortage. In a post-Cabinet media briefing on Tuesday, the government spokesperson said:
INCREASED DEMAND FOR ELECTRICITY DUE TO INCREASED ECONOMIC ACTIVITY
Cabinet considered and noted Proposals on Managing the Increased Demand for Electricity occasioned by increasing activity in the economy, as presented by the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Honourable Zhemu Soda.
Cabinet notes, with pleasure, that increased economic activity, especially in the agricultural and mining sectors as well as the manufacturing sector, has increased the demand for electricity. Furthermore, ongoing massive housing and other infrastructural development projects has increased the consumption of electricity. This calls for efficiency in the production, distribution and use of electrical power.
The stepped application of the electricity tariff whereby users who consume above a certain threshold are charged at a higher rate is already in application in order to deter inefficient use of national grid electricity. The Renewable Energy Policy also stipulates the enhanced use of solar and renewable energy sources by consumers. For instance, new housing units being constructed are required to install solar geysers. The net-metering system is also being implemented.
Domestic consumers with solar panels on their rooftops which are connected to the national grid, can sell any excess power that they generate to the national grid. In general, the use of off-grid electrical power through the use of solar energy allows consumers a significant measure of control over their electricity energy costs. Accordingly, the whole production, supply, distribution and retailing framework of electrical power is being reviewed to take into account these positive developments in the economy.