Energy Regulations Board (ERB) offices
Uproar has erupted following revelations that the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has unilaterally reduced electricity benefits offered to the poor and vulnerable members of society by Zesco.

At the same time ERB is reported to have exempted the largest electricity consumers, the mines, from the 75 percent electricity hike.

ZESCO proposed a 300 kWh lifeline threshold that would have left most household untouched by the 75 percent hike but ERB has reportedly reduced this to 200 kWh.

Energy Forum Chairperson Mr Johnston Chikwanda has criticized ERB for the decision, calling it unfortunate, unprecedented and a perforation of public expectation.

He said it was a fact that ZESCO made its decision to give more relief to its own clients because there was a public outcry, hence making a public offer of 300 kWh lifeline. Thus, ERB should have allowed the request to pass.

“If ERB felt strongly about it, the other option was to reduce the offer to 200 kWh in September when the 25 percent portion of the tariff adjustment would come into effect.

“It would not have been a train smash to allow this request to pass especially that bulk consumers who consume more than 50 percent of electricity have been left to continue benefiting from the subsidy for a period of time which we do not even know,” he said.

Mr Chikwanda stated that the decision to stop the full range offer was not only a public slap in the face of ZESCO but it was embarrassing the government-the shareholder, adding that a close analysis of statements from policy markers revealed that ZESCO’s shareholder which was Government had approved the 300 kWh unless ZESCO management acted outside ‘minimum corporate governance’.

“Therefore, it is not far-fetched to conclude thUproar has erupted following revelations that the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has unilaterally reduced electricity benefits offered to the poor and vulnerable members of society by Zesco.

At the same time ERB is reported to have exempted the largest electricity consumers, the mines, from the 75 percent electricity hike.

ZESCO proposed a 300 kWh lifeline threshold that would have left most household untouched by the 75 percent hike but ERB has reportedly reduced this to 200 kWh.

Energy Forum Chairperson Mr Johnston Chikwanda has criticized ERB for the decision, calling it unfortunate, unprecedented and a perforation of public expectation.

He said it was a fact that ZESCO made its decision to give more relief to its own clients because there was a public outcry, hence making a public offer of 300 kWh lifeline. Thus, ERB should have allowed the request to pass.

“If ERB felt strongly about it, the other option was to reduce the offer to 200 kWh in September when the 25 percent portion of the tariff adjustment would come into effect.

“It would not have been a train smash to allow this request to pass especially that bulk consumers who consume more than 50 percent of electricity have been left to continue benefiting from the subsidy for a period of time which we do not even know,” he said.

Mr Chikwanda stated that the decision to stop the full range offer was not only a public slap in the face of ZESCO but it was embarrassing the government-the shareholder, adding that a close analysis of statements from policy markers revealed that ZESCO’s shareholder which was Government had approved the 300 kWh unless ZESCO management acted outside ‘minimum corporate governance’.

“Therefore, it is not far-fetched to conclude that ZESCO must have gotten Government approval to offer the 300 kWh lifeline as extended relief to its clients.

“And it is also untenable to imagine that ZESCO which is in direct interface with its clients did not make acceptable calculations when arriving at the 300 kWh lifeline for the ERB to swiftly come in between and overturn the intention.

“With the reforms underway, the ERB is encouraged to push for more powers which will allow it to intervene and regulate adjustments in the bulk supply agreements and impose significant financial penalties on both parties in bulk supply agreements should the parties fail to reach reasonable conclusions in a given time frame,” he said.at ZESCO must have gotten Government approval to offer the 300 kWh lifeline as extended relief to its clients.

“And it is also untenable to imagine that ZESCO which is in direct interface with its clients did not make acceptable calculations when arriving at the 300 kWh lifeline for the ERB to swiftly come in between and overturn the intention.

“With the reforms underway, the ERB is encouraged to push for more powers which will allow it to intervene and regulate adjustments in the bulk supply agreements and impose significant financial penalties on both parties in bulk supply agreements should the parties fail to reach reasonable conclusions in a given time frame,” he said.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. The government must make ERB explain it’s position. Why would they stand in the way of ZESCO in trying to help the poor? At the same time offer concessions to the Mines. Who’s interest are they saving?

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    • Don’t blame ERB. This is part of Lungu’s dictatorship. The Catholic Bishops were right: “Zambia is, other than in designation, a dictatorship”. Lungu can do as he wants with Zambians, including killing them (Mapenzi and Choongwa) or jailing them for no reason (HH, Mwaliteta and Barotse activists).

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  2. This is unacceptable. The Mines corruption in Zambia has gone on too long and will derail PF good governance. PF came into power riding on the coat tails of the POOR, but now are acting like blind in one eye when it comes to our natural resources. It’s cowardly and needs countrywide attention. 50% consumers of power allowed more benefits at cost of POOR! What’s going on? Can we be silent on this?

    Anyway, I touch on this conglomerate issues in my MA Journalism blog. Checkout,
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    #Alternative Food Sources

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    • I won’t bother with your blog. Lungu’s dictatorship and corruption are beginning to reveal themselves. Hard-core supporters who were dancing Dununa Reverse last year must be basking in their stoopidity.

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  3. Well , patriot abroad when you support a party , go with it to the very end…. PF is pro poor ,so support them….. You wanted it….. so be it….
    Never trust a man….. I keep saying . Humans are self centred….We struggle with sin and need Jesus…..

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    • I support Pro Poor, Fair Share and PF is best around, but they need to SORT THIS MINES MESS OUT,

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    • PF will never sort out the mines as long as Lungu is on the take. Look at the withdrawal of the very promising case of ZCCM-IH v FQM from Zambian courts.

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  4. Chipante pante sure. Are they now going to revise the number of jobs anticpated to be created by 75% tariff hike?

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  5. This monster called ERB is being ridden by monkeys and dogs masquerading as Board members. The dragon is irrelevant to this country and deserves no place or mention, it must be scrapped forthwith.

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  6. This moron has been in the forefront in advocating for this increase, what has changed now? Wait until you feel the rath of the people now that the increase is in effect. You must be a shameless bootlicker devoid of any empathy. Are you saying that you didn’t know that the mines will be exempted all along? At energy expert my foot.

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    • That’s the problem of half-baked loudmouths. He farts before he has even digested what’s going on.

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  7. I have always questioned the existence of ER: extremely unproductive, consumption oriented, zero accountability. Now with this revelation, in whose interest do they exist?

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  8. what do you expect EDGAR RUPIAH BANDA (ERB) to do when the person who is talking was PF Finance minister who bankrolled PF ELECTIONS and now enjoying his retirement from active politics

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  9. Listening to ERB justifying the 200kwh its like they assumed using a stove is a luxury.Because according to them 200kwh is enough for lighting only, but how about cooking and pressing of clothes using pressing irons.If not stoves and pressing irons then whats the alternative?Charcoal………!!!!!!!!???????

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  10. Lungu and his minions will annihilate the economy snd livelihoods of Zambians, very sad especially for those poor souls that were dancing to his fk**ng victory!

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  11. ERB, ZICTA, SWASCO, and so on, there works are only felt negatively by the poorer groups. How can they refuse an offer of relief and opt for 200? Am sure only the mines are happy for them.

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