Zesco’s plan to increase electricity tariffs by 75 percent gets support from Energy Expert

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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 expert Johnstone Chikwanda has backed plans by Zesco to increase electricity tariffs by 75 percent, saying the measure will boost the country’s capacity to produce and supply power sustainably.

Mr Chikwanda, who is also Energy Forum Zambia chairperson, said Zesco’s migration to cost reflective tariffs would significantly cut Government electricity subsidies, enabling the Treasury to channel resources to other needy sectors.

Zesco has applied to the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) to hike electricity tariffs up to 75 percent across various consumer categories, with an initial 50 percent increment to be effected on May 1, this year and an additional 25 percent on September 1, this year.

ERB has since responded that it is considering Zesco’s application, which the power utility has said was necessitated by the need for the country to attract investment in the power generation sector.

Mr Chikwanda said without energy sector reforms, it would also be difficult for the country to attain the United Nations sustainable development goal number seven on universal access to clean, sustainable and affordable electricity by 2030.

“Zambia’s electrification rate still remains one of the lowest in the world although it has been improving,” Mr Chikwanda said. “This is more the reason these energy sector reforms must be supported”.

He said the amount in subsidies Government had been spending on electricity had gone to supporting industries more than households, hence the subvention had not significantly assisted in increasing access to electricity at household level.

32 COMMENTS

  1. +1
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    Breaking news illegal president lungu has collapsed at state house. This is coming from close sources working at state house. The next couple of days will be spent forcing him to walk around Lusaka like they did with sata to try and prove the he is healthy.

    • +2
      -1
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      “Fake News”, as cousin Donald Trump would declare. Please, discuss more important things in the morning.

    • +1
      -1
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      Partying comes at huge cost, PF forgot one HH-Hip Hop basic rule, when you play and party hard, remember to work hard.

    • vote

      Its normal for him to collapse as long as your prayers for him to die don not come to pass. you have reported about his collapse before but he has moved on.

  2. +5
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    There’s has been a call to increase tariffs by all the pundits without looking at the advantages of low tariffs. The arguments have been many. But Zambia’s tariffs are advantageous to industry and agriculture. Raising tariffs will push up costs and make Zambian exports uncompetitive. It also impact negatively on rural households who will continue to use charcoal for cooking and increase deforestation. Already many homes in high density areas use charcoal to cook,will they use electricity when tariffs are raised by such a large margin?

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      @Truth Seeker:
      I totally agree with you. But a PF Cadre and Fake Energy Expert Johnstone Chikwanda can’t even understand the simple economics you have eloquently stated.
      I really wonder which id.iot made Jonstone Chikwanda an Energy Expert because there is no economic sense in what he is saying. Why should only ZESCO be allowed to charge cost effective tariffs? The farmers who use electricity to irrigate the Maize, Vegetables, Fruit, etc. will also have to charge cost reflective prices in order to afford the cost of electricity for their produce!! Someone should kill Johnstone Chikwanda – these are the people bringing problems to our country instead of finding solutions.

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      @Chilyata.
      Johnstone chikwanda is a self made energy expert. But the truth is that the bugger wants a job from the PF government.

  3. +2
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    It will be well and good to increase tariffs in order to enable ZESCO recapitalize. However, it would be extremely unwise if these increases were to be effected in a “blanket” fashion, without considering the poorest of the poor, who may not afford this 75% increase. Let the industries pay more; followed by the affluent in society, with the struggling masses given the lowest increase. This has been done very easily in countries around the world. Mr. Hichilema, for example, can pay more than Mr. Foloko, who lives in Ngabwe village, and cousin Mutengule Phiri, who lives in Chunga.

    • +3
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      When dancing to dununa songs always remember to stock up for the future, these are self imposed afflictions.

  4. +4
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    Chikwanda is a self-appointed energy expert. As far as I am concerned, high energy costs will hinder the growth of the Zambian economy on a large scale. Production of all goods – ranging from basic water pumping to growing of any crop which requires electric energy, from welders in our markets to basic kitchen activities will be expensive to run. The end result will be a general rise of prices and commodities available to Zambians for their daily lives. This will lead to increased inflation as fewer goods will be produced, and these will cost more. Energy is the ability to do work. If energy prices rise, less work will be done.
    This Chikwanda fellow is just anothe PF empty drum with a bias towards the neo-liberal economic and energy policies to quiz the country, making less competitive…

  5. vote

    I have no problem with him been pf by birth, after all even in America such politics are also practiced, you can’t take a Clinton out of the Democratic party, just like you can’t take a Bush out of the Republican party.

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      Everyone knows Clinton is a Politician …he doesnt go around pretending to be an anaylst.

  6. +2
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    The energy expert’s analysis and arguments for supporting power hike are as shallow as one can ever get, from an energy expert…

    • +1
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      He is a political cadre not expert…he benefits from the Ruling Party…dont call him an expert!!

  7. vote

    The gross incompetence of lungu and the PF manifest itself no where clearly than in the fact there is no serious concerted drive to sanitize the citizens to solar energy.

    With inevitable increased deforestation and suffering of the masses at least 60 to 80 % of zambians should have been using some sort of solar energy.

  8. +2
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    The idea of increasing tariffs is not bad but it should be done in a gradual manner. Increasing to 75% within a short space is like BP shooting up at once and we all know the consequences when such happens – it will have negative consequences on our economy and especially for the majority poor

  9. +1
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    If as the energy expert says that the subsidies have been going to industry rsther tban household then to my non expert brain says that the increases should be on thise that are benefitting…..industry.
    Compounds and villagers paying for bad governance by ZESCO

  10. vote

    It appears the name Chikwanda is associated with fools who don’t think or reason rationally.
    What kind of analysis is this??
    This fool doesn’t know that an increase in electricity tariffs will ultimately push the cost of other services and goods upwards.

  11. +1
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    Energy powers nations. Without energy, nations descend into chaos. One source of energy is undoubtedly electric power. Electric power is essential for economic growth and job creation. However, abrupt increases in the form of doubling the cost for consumers is too simple to revitalize the electric power sector. Governments must look after the consumers and consumers will look after suppliers. Any price increase over and above 10% at a time is irresponsible. It can destabilize households and industries. Ultimately, it can destabilize the nation. The drought must not be used as an excuse for irrational decisions. It is better to apply tax exemptions for new investors in combination with reasonable minor price increases to consumers. In gradual fashion, the price of electric power will reach…

  12. +1
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    Sorry Mr Expert your plan is to increase Zesco tarrifs to make the market attractive for private power industry investors. This one you’re lost.

  13. vote

    How can some one support such idea?
    How much will it cost for a consumer to use electricity In a month?
    Are we not supposed to have a reduction instead of increase, considering the rains our God has given to us?
    Because last year it was a good reason for the increase as ZESCO was importing electricity from neighboring countries
    What impact does the increase of tallifs will have on the common man?
    How can the government backs ZESCO up to increase the tallifs when the government have not increased the salaries for workers?

  14. +3
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    This useless Lungu protege called Jonstone Chikwanda has NO brains. In one Economy, how can you have some companies like ZESCO be charging cost reflective tariffs and others NOT charging cost reflective tariffs!
    If cost reflective tariffs are good for ZESCO, then let the farmers also charge cost reflective tariffs for Maize so that they cab afford to pay for the electricity (that is charged in cost reflective tariffs) that farmers use to irrigate the Maize – simple!!
    Where did Jonstone Chikwanda learn his economics to become a so called FAKE ENERGY EXPERT?? I really hate this idi.ot with a passion. Please God have mercy on us because Jonstone Chikwanda is one SELFISH person we don’t need on earth any more – please take him!!

  15. vote

    When is everybody going to realise and the GOVERNMENT going to admit that we are on a path to a one party nation.
    Trying to following outdated socialism that has not worked in this day and age.
    Look at Europe and EU giving no visa requirements for entry, whats happening there, TERRIORISM and are offering Ethiopia visa fre entry into zambia. Turkey has terrorism problem, yet we are inviting them to invest. China, any body remember Chairman Mao, brutality A question to anyone who is listening. Is ISIS,AL QUIDA, BOKO HARA!M present in any politically stable country. No . Improve our stability or we will experience the same. Iam non political. PF tell us the benefits of a one party state. UPND tell us what you will do to change the p.ight of the poor
    ZAMBIA ZAMBIANS be PROUD

  16. vote

    He is an energy excrete not expert. The bottom line is, the price increase will be passed on to us the consumers. So whatever this excrete is saying is bullcrap. What we are forgetting is that everyone who uses energy in their production cycle will pass this costs to the cost of their products and services which we end up paying for. So there is nothing to be proud of Mr. energy excrete, our salaries have never been increased by 75% since I started breathing. What we will end up paying for is the lack of vision and sheer incompetence by Zesco to invest more during the time they were making profits for future expansion. Its like having more children without planning for it.

  17. vote

    What’s unsettling is the degree of inefficiency at Zesco. ZESCO can’t account for a larger % of the power it produces. Further, a larger % of Zesco’s income goes to emoluments and other running costs, it’s the reason Zesco can’t borrow without GRZ as a guarantor. Tariffs can even be increased tenfold but we won’t see any improvement. Their income isn’t sales driven, they give all excuses not to supply power. Power failure isn’t translated into loss of sales, no wonder they take too long to attend to outages. And which category of consumers will this increase affect? obviously it’s domestic and not bulk consumers like mines. Can Chikwanda explain why Zesco has continued to supply electricity to Copperbelt Energy cheaply who in turn supply it to the mines?

    • vote

      Imagine ERB should ask more from Zesco before the approve such increases issues like KPIs, waste, Health and Safety…but then again ERB fails in the above mentioned.

  18. +3
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    Johnston Chikwanda! I like this ” Self proclaimed expert”. Unfortunately all the people think of you as “energy excreta”. Sober up dude and place yourself were you are supposed to be. A cadre searching for a lucrative job is what you are. You can do better than that buddy. Your analysis stinks. Sad!

Comments are closed.