GOVERNMENT has urged suppliers of alternative sources of energy to reduce their prices for the commodities to reduce the demand for hydropower supply and ultimately mitigate load shedding.
Livingstone District Commissioner Omar Munsanje said there was need for suppliers of alternative sources of energy to reduce their prices for the commodities so that more people could access the tools.
Mr Munsanje said the Government had done its part to give incentives to suppliers to import such commodities and hence there was need to ensure that the benefits trickled down to members of the public.
He was speaking in an interview in Livingstone at the weekend when the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) hosted an Earth Hour event in which electricity was switched off for a period of one hour to conserve it.
“To suppliers of alternative sources of energy, we are urging them to lower their prices so that people are compelled to come on board and buy these items.
“Otherwise we will have these alternative sources of energy which are not being utilised because of higher prices,” Mr Munsanje said.
He said he was grateful the commemoration of the Earth Hour took place in Livingstone.
“For us, we are talking about the real effects of climate change and what it means is that everyone has to take part in mitigating the effects of climate change.
“We have load shedding and almost everybody knows that. We are trying to engage people so that they use other alternative sources of energy,” Mr Munsanje said.
Speaking at the event, ERB senior manager for the Southern Region Stephen Mwiinga said electricity was a scarce community which Zambians needed to use sparingly.
Mr Mwiinga said the Government, working in partnership with ERB, had put in place mechanisms to encourage private sector in the renewable energy.
“There are many alternative sources of energy and therefore let us keep an open mind and explore these sources,” Mr Mwiinga said.
Livingstone based environmentalist Benjamin Mibenje said there was need to discourage the use of charcoal as an alternative source of energy because the practice was contributing to climate change.