ZESCO Muzuma substation being upgraded to KV 330 (from KV 220) in order to be connected to the national grid as soon as the Maamba coal plant station is commissioned
ZESCO Muzuma substation being upgraded to KV 330 (from KV 220) in order to be connected to the national grid as soon as the Maamba coal plant station is commissioned

Energy Forum Zambia says the country’s power utility company should consider revising it’s tariffs so as to attract investment in the energy sector and help reduce power shortage in the country.

Forum Chairperson Johnstone Chikwanda said in the face of current prolonged load shedding the State owned company should either increase tariffs in order to support more electricity imports or the country continue with the painful status quo.

He said there is excess power in the Southern Power Pool which can be imported to reduce the prolonged load shedding but that it could mean paying more.

He also said ZESCO should inform the nation how much the company is losing per month due to inadequate electricity from its facilities.

“Energy Forum Zambia sympathises with electricity consumers for the debilitating energy poverty being experienced not just in Zambia but in sub-Sahara Africa as a whole. On the other side of the isthmus, the Forum sympathises with ZESCO for loss of revenue during load shedding hours. It would be appreciated if ZESCO could inform the nation how much revenue is being lost per month due to inadequate electricity from its facilities.

“The Forum is of the view that there is some electricity in the Southern Power Pool which can be imported to reduce the prolonged load shedding currently being experienced in Zambia. However, ZESCO is unable to import MORE expensive electricity which in turn will be sold at a loss in Zambia. It is either tariffs are increased in order to support more electricity imports or we continue with the painful status quo. In other words, the unattractive electricity tariff in Zambia is the biggest trigger of the squalor being precipitated from this sector.

“Therefore, the tariff structure must be revised as a matter of urgency. Bulk customers and Industry consume more electricity than domestic households. This is why the biggest portion of the electricity subsidy was spent on bulk consumers and Industry compared to domestic households. Hence, the focus of the tariff increase may have to weigh heavily on the bulk customers and industry,” he said.

Mr Chikwanda also called government to establish a Central Energy Fund (CEF) which can be used to support emergency expenditure and support other sector related objectives such as the financing of the unbundling ZESCO into three entities.

“In addition, the Forum wishes to call upon government to establish a “Central Energy Fund” (CEF) as a matter of urgency. The CEF can be financed by inserting a levy in the electricity pricing model either for all customer categories or for selected customer categories as phase 1. The CEF can be used to support emergency expenditure and support other sector related objectives such as the financing of the unbundling of ZESCO into three entities.

“Unbundling a vertically integrated utility is not an easy undertaking. There is considerable preparatory work, implementation, workforce migration to new structures and post implementation phase. It cannot be achieved in 2 years. It is a costly undertaking which must be financed using different innovative avenues. Therefore, the PF Government may find the establishment of the CEF as a suitable mechanism to support such undertakings.”

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41 COMMENTS

    • Its like saying increase so that a lot of people will fail to pay and get out of the grid and remain with a few who can pay, Where is the electricity going to come from if tariffs are increased, What you should be saying is take politics out of zesco, stop making it a cash cow for people in government and it will run efficiently.

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    • Mmmmmm. I think Ba Chikwanda wants to be appointed as CEO of his proposed Central Energy Fund. If Zambia’s problem right now is lack of investment in the energy sector. How will the CEF bring that investment. We have so many of these big white elephant structures that yield nothing already. Yes indeed just take politics out of ZESCO!

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    • @1.1, Snake bite that is not the principal. The logic is SELL ELECTRICITY AT THE RIGHT PRICE TO MAKE PROFIT TO INVEST invest in more generation and maintain the grid in the longer term but in the shorter term, HAVE CAPACITY TO IMPORT TO CUSHION THE SHORTAGE. The ONLY PROBLEM is that in our country WE HARDLY STICK to OUR PLANS. If we did an AUDIT ON MONEY FROM TOLL BOOTHS we MAY DISCOVER THAT IT HAS BEEN DIVERTED TO SOME SENSELESS USE SOMEWHERE! Agreed ZESCO NEEDS TO BE MADE MORE EFFICIENT by REMOVING POLITICAL INTERFERENCE

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    • What needs fixing is the cause of electricity shortages not upping tarrifs. Whose dull suggestion is this? Smh.

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    • It’s like these f00ls are taking the people of Zambia for granted. Where are these Jim and Jack coming from? Enough of this mediocrity. You can’t just be increasing everything at the same time and yet peoples salaries have been stagnant for the past 4yrs. The problem with ZESCO has nothing to do with tariffs but has everything to do with inefficiencies and mismanagement. This behavior of pretending to be holier than thou Zambians will kill us, its high time we stood up and demonstrated against certain decisions

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    • @Ba Snake fimofimo umuntu has said that increase tarrifs so that more investiment can come….. Mwaba shani kanshi ba UPND?

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    • Nonsense!! Let us just maintain the same status quo. We have after all been promised that long load shedding hours will end on the 22 of this month. We can afford to wait.

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    • It reminds me of a statement issued by the then Information Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Mr Tony Month that said “Telephones are not for the poor” when that country increased the phone tariffs and the majority Nigerians were not happy with the government. That was in the late 80s going into the 90s under President Babanginda. Comparatively in Zambia, it’s electricity which is not for the poor as the case may be under the PF. God help Zambia.

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    • INCREASED TARIFFS WILL NOT END ZESCO WOES OR ATTRACT THE SO CALLED INVESTMENT IN THE ENERGY SECTOR
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      Unless you give me a credible report based on a comprehensive research. The claim is hypothetical. The suggestion in this article is not pro-poor. First things first, the rich are as frustrated as the poor on matters that concern electricity in the country today. There is failure attributed to both Government and Zesco as it relates to policy and management respectively. Government has made numerous policy pronouncements and Zesco have claimed to have undertaken various projects aimed at mitigating the power shortages in the country. In the end we are back at square one; 8 hr long Load-shedding program. One thing is for sure though, lack of…

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    • … capacity at Government ministerial and Zesco management levels. Stop the ranting and sort out the problem both you Govt and Zesco.

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    • Instead of appointing a Commission of Inquiry into political violence ECL should have appointed a Commission of Inquiry into the LOAD SHEDDING.

      But it will not happen simply because its findings (if honest) will show that the current situation is not due to drought or global warming or any other of the PFs excuses, it is directly due to PF incompetence and cadreism.

      The fact is that the Kafue Lower Gorge contract was CANCELLED by PF in 2011 as soon as they came to power. That is why we have load shedding. If their stupidity had not prevailed, it would have been up and running in 2015!

      Additionally, PF management (read cardres) allowed ONE WHOLE YEARS WATER SUPPLY to be wasted out of Kariba dam in 2011. We are still trying to catch up from that crazy illogical decision.

      PF…

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  1. Agreed,the PROBLEM IS WE WAIT TILL THE ISSUE GOES OUT OF CONTROL then we go BEGGING FOR SOLUTIONS outside which COME WITH MORE PAINFUL PRESCRIPTIONS. By NOW WE SHOULD HAVE COMMITTEE ALREADY IN PLACE to look at the UN BUNDLING OPTIONS AND THE ENTIRE CHANGE MANAGEMENT PROCESS. Yes tariffs WILL HAVE TO GO UP but the issue is BY HOW MUCH and WHERE IS THE GUARANTEE that MONEY GENERATED WILL BE USED PROPERLY TO END THE POWER SHORTAGES? LET US HOPE the TARIFF ADJUSTMENT will be GRADUAL as promised in manifesto and campaigns to HELP consumers to ADJUST and SIMULTANEOUSLY see the BENEFIT otherwise….

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    • Wasn’t this Chikanda mangwam protesting when HH pointed out that the power coming out of Mozambique was highly subsidised as nobody was paying at 13c per KWh, its cost? Average tariff by Zesco is probably half of that, about 6c per KWh. Now Chikanda is agreeing with HH! Is his NGO a one man affair, like Tayali’s, so that he has nobody to share ideas with? A one man forum!

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  2. LOOK AT THESE SO-CALLED ZAMBIAN THINK TANKS, SETTLING ON IMPORTING VERY EXPENSIVE POWER FROM MOZAMBIQUE AND RAISING POWER TARRIFS, AS SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM. WE HAVE A LOT OF UNANWERED QUESTIONS FROM ZESCO IN AS FAR AS GENERATION OF POWER FRO KARIBA DAM IS CONCERNED. HAS THE DAM BEEN FULLY REPAIRED? HAVE THE ORIGINAL TURBINES BEEN REPLACED TO STOP THE USE OF THE CHEAP AND INEFFICIENT CHINESE TURBINES WHICH WERE INSTALLED AT THE DAM LAST YEAR? RIGHT NOW THE USE OF MALASHA IN ZAMBIA IS AT AN ALARMING RATE DUE TO POWER CUTS AND THIS IS CONTRIBUTING TO DROUGHT. MILLIONS OF ZAMBIANS ALREADY CAN NOT AFFORD ELECTRICITY BECAUSE IT IS EXPENSIVE, WHAT WILL HAPPEN NOW AFTER TARIFFS ARE RAISED? ARE YOU NOT ENCOURAGING MALASHA USAGE HENCE PROMOTING CLIMATE CHANGE? PLEASE GUYS PLAN WELL FOR OUR…

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  3. The matter of electricity and ZESCO has to be addressed SERIOUSLY by policy rather than these opportunistic piece-meal proposals. One must address the problems of ZESCO before venturing into offering incomplete solutions.
    1]. If ZESCO is a parastatal company, should it make the same profit as a private company?
    2]. Should ZESCO be used for DEVELOPMENT or PROFIT?
    3]. If ZESCO is to make profit, should it also be used by the party in government for placement of hundreds of its supporters?
    Raising tariffs so that many consumers are excluded is SOUNDS CHEAP!

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    • If Lazy Lungu had not U-turned on tarriffs we would have been in a better position now but alas they are too shortsighted…they were happy for Dora to be paying over the top prices to import emergency energy from Turkish Ships using reserves.
      This silly forum will not highlight any of that…

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  4. The caliber/thinking capacity of some PF00Ls is just amazing. The British made a big big blunder by joining NWR to NER.

    Maybe its bcoz the G7 cut-off points in NER & Copperbelt is so low that even PF00LS end up in G12 without any check.

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    • The NERers steal exam papers. That’s how they pass their G12s. Stealing is inculcated early in their lives. You can’t reform them.

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    • Then at UNZA or college, they use Crooks, i.e. copying from past exam/assignment solutions from previous years.

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  5. It is contradictory to simultaneously increase load shedding and charges for the consumer. The electric power situation is critical but right interventions are needed. First, implement a functional strategic plan and if none exists, then ask experts to develop one without delay. In the meantime, it is advisable to negotiate for a loan on favorable terms from the the Southern Power Poo itself. There is no need to fire the employer: the taxpayer is employer. It is a strange way of reasoning to pile the cost on the consumer without restraint.

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  6. Wonders shall never end…….. It was fuel and now Electricity Tariffs!!! Can someone explain to me what gradual is..

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  7. That Euro bond could have sorted out this mess and paid itself back, but the crooked opted to blow it on themselves and enslaved the country to debtors for no tangible benefits.

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    • Well said, Gringo. $9 billion later and not a ngwee spent on increasing power supply. Instead it was used to make one-season tar roads to fool slum dwellers.

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  8. Too many cooks in the kitchen, what really is the cause of this power shortage? Is it lack of water in the Kariba? or low tarrifs so we can’t import? or the wall needs repairs? Because I foresee a situation where the good Lord blesses us with good rains, we will start complaining that the Kariba wall is about to collapse so we need to open the gates. I also foresee a situation whereby Zesco will be told to export power to earn extra money when we are still being load-shedded.

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  9. zesco should should cut down or stop exporting power to other countries or increase price to those countries so that they dont buy from us in that way we shall have the power to sustain our industries . Its like buying food for your neighbour whilst starving your own children . These same countries we support at times always consider there people first before helping us . enough of this Zesco .ZAMBIA FIRST !

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  10. Clowns like Nubian princess, & Thorn in the flesh, were all P.F cheerleaders in August.
    To them “Edward” & his morally bankrupt P. F, could do no wrong, & insults were hurled in the direction of any sane individual who dared warn Citizens P.F was a bad idea for Zambia.
    Now these circus performers are busy saying “fyo, fyo, fyo, fyo, @ seeing the evidence P.F cannot run a piss up in a brewery, & are only suited for the Sewage treatment plant.
    UNLIKE BRAIN DEAD P.F, CADRES, OUR MEMORIES ARE INTACT!!

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  11. “Energy Forum Zambia says the country’s power utility company should consider revising it’s tariffs so as to attract investment in the energy sector and help reduce power shortage in the country”

    Zambians please wake up from your docility and do not let such organisations insult your intelligence with carefully phrased statements…what happened last time Zesco increased? Who removed them? And who ordered them to increase? It pains me that we are even giving these cadres like Chikwanda page space…absolute insult!!

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    • You are also a Zambian citizen. Do something not just yapping and pretending to be very educated on L.T when your fat a.ss is just comfortably seated in a swivel chair the whole day. Be proactive then come back and show us how to wake up from our docility. In all the years you have commented on this forum, no one has seen you write about any action that you’ve personally taken to make things better as a citizen. You are a coward. Noisy semi-educated tin.

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  12. Lungu and the PF kaponyas should start dancing dununa reverse then call national prayers when ever subsidy removal is made mention of.

    I am sure the supporters will dance and then pray and dance some more…

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  13. How long has ZESCO been making losses? The power rationing situation is not only bad for ZESCO but for the Zambian economy as well. Five years ago I proposed for the privatization of the company because of the inability to manage and grow the company in relation to the demand. Here are a few things that can be done to alleviate the problem in the long term; government should consider allowing a viable competitor to ZESCO; ZESCO should lease existing power grids to companies that can harness Coal and produce electricity on large scale. This means provinces with the abundance of Coal should be able to produce the majority of their electricity from coal. Because of increased energy consumption in Zambia, we find ourselves dealing with outdated grids not able to support the current demand,…

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  14. Pls we are tired of these stories Energy Forum go ahead and influence government to increase tarrifs so that we just die of hunger as everything will be unaffordable. I am sure advocates of tarrif increments and the famous unbundling will be happy. Go ahead pls fast, fast we are tired of this story. Ba President ikilani mitengo yamalaiti tatopa nakhani imodzi.

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  15. Low tariffs should not be blamed for the lack of investment in this sector. A private company with less overheads and no interference from government can still make profit at prevailing rates. There is a lot of exaggeration about the amount of money required to run a hydro electric power plant. It is not like you literally have to pour dollars onto the turbines to lubricate them. Too many clowns are shouting “lion” and us Zambians keep running.

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  16. LT, I see you have blocked my post. I wonder in whose interested. Fine, I will moderate my post.

    When tariffs are increased, a substantial number of house holds will “drop off” the grid. What alternative is Mr Chikwanda suggesting for them? This is the simple question I wanted the so-called energy expert to answer.

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  17. Mr. Chikwanda should stop cheap talk which has no substance in it . Since Johnstone is educated he should not be talking like a paper tiger. A paper tiger is good at ideal, not at turning unproved ideas into real world or into reality. Being a Chair Mr. Chikwanda should have read Load Shedding Report by the Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ). The cause is not that ZESCO Tarriffs are low, it is a failure by the governments since MMD took over from UNIP to build power station based on the dependable lowest water flow which will always ensure electricity supply at all times regardless low rainfall. 360MW Kariba N Bank Extension is useless and that has caused load shedding-the dam is overloaded by more than 600MW. 1350MW is the designed capacity of the dam. About 1900MW is the installed…

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