ZESCO to roll out Smart meters to help with load shedding

ZESCO MD Victor Mundende delivering his remarks.
ZESCO MD Victor Mundende

ZESCO will soon roll out Smart meters which will allow the utility company to remotely switch off some appliances in households as part of load management.

ZESCO Managing Director Victor Mundende says the project will cost 40-Million United States dollars and will help with load management and sharing of power by the utility company.

He says a Copperbelt meter manufacturing company, El Sewedy, in which ZESCO owns 40 percent undertook a two-year pilot project whose results are successful.

Mr. Mundende says the start of the project is only awaiting approval from the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) and will take five years to implement.

He says the project will be easily rolled out especially with the installation of fiber across the country.

And Mr. Mundende has revealed that the current intense load shedding of between 8 to 12 hours is expected to continue until September.

He has told journalists in Lusaka that the anticipated commissioning of the first generator at the 750 megawatts Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro plant in October is expected to reduce the load shedding to between one and four hours.

Mr. Mundende said ZESCO has projected a systematic reduction of load shedding using a graduated system called Weather Induced Power Deficit -WIPOD-19 which ensures a more predictable and consistent load management schedule for customers.

He said ZESCO being responsible for generation, distribution, and supply of power has also suffered effects of climate change with about 810 megawatts power deficit while the cold season also increases the demand for power for heating.

The ZESCO MD has, however, noted that the company is working round the clock to ensure that the Kafue Gorge Lower Project fully comes on board within the first quarter of next year.


  1. This is needed because I believe we as a country have failed to change our approach to power saving. There is a lot of unnecessary waste of energy. People became to accustomed to wasting energy. The numbers of houses I have been to where lights in unoccupied rooms are left on is telling in itself. We need to change this approach or better still we would like to see people moving to alternative sources.

  2. So much for privacy. Instead of switching of customers that consume beyond a certain threshold of consumption. The MD states they will switch off impliments? Where our personal boundaries when based on the current ERB tariff structure we are charged based on consumption or has #Zesco tariff structure that #ERB
    recently approved something Zesco failed to impliments? Law makers where are our privacy laws? Consumer Protection Agency where are our rights to privacy with this much intrusion into our private space?

  3. Imagine they lied to the President that the water will take 9 weeks to reach the Kariba Dam. But even him, he can’t follow up and find out why they lied to him in front of camera’s and the whole nation witnessed it. He’s busy transporting Chellah Tukuta from one police station to another.

  4. Power shortage now classified as a new normal ver2, second only to Covid-19: we are on the wrong trajectory viz energy policy in this country.
    The ultimate preoccupation of Zesco must be to increase capacity on alternative power sources – generation not to move to restrict use of electricity in households. The objective of Zesco must be to adopt efficient generation the commodity. How to you spend so much money to launch a meter that would loadshed me when on the grid I am already being loadshedded.
    The Auditor General should cite dysfunct Zesco for misapplication of funds if this project takes off.
    What a waste of strategic decisions at Zesco. Is that the reason you want to suffocate CEC? Damn it Mundende!

  5. Best Strategy is to completely get off the unreliable ZESCO thing by investing in simple technologies, E.G. Biogas Digesters for cooking, running Gas-powered Generators, etc. Couple that with Solar power and you have a Stress-free existence. As long as ZESCO continues running as a “Parasitatal,” it will continue Failing and Stressing it’s customers!

  6. @Kiazer Zulu – I beg to differ with your perception. Zesco began what you suggest when the distributed energy saving bulbs. Loadshedding and tariffs have compelled consumers to change their behaviour. If you bother to interact with Zesco itself. The institution will tell you that what you suggest itsnt. The current tariff structure was modelled to change just that. Aka a different tariff structure based on consumption.
    Loadshedding is compelled by two fold issue. Low water levels to generate power is one. The other is the surge in numbers of households and institutions that now tap into the grid. Zesco is lagging in bring the generation capacity to meet demand for power. This Zesco has explained that while their plans were made ahead of time, the tariff structure made it unaffordable to…

  7. When you suffer from malnutrition and your father says he wants devise means to monitor how many lumps of nshima to consumer per day just know that there’s no future, kwashiorkor and marasmus will soon set in. He’s supposed to discuss on how to improve diet! and any money spent should be towards that. Now Mundende and Matthew Nkhuwa want to pinpoint load shading which means they can switch Kambwili for saying what he says about Edgar mu chimbuya. There’s no hope. Find means of managing power efficiently. You’re supposed to reduce the transmission loss of 20% to 2% like CEC! US$40M is money wasted and obviously the cost of the project might just be US$5M, the rest as usual, you know when you know

  8. @Chikubabe – True. But these can only work on a limited capacity sort of arrangement and if the communities where low cost technologies to beat the tariff structure help the poor. Sadly, a biogas gas digester was built in Mutendere/Kalingalinga area and the community went up in arms against it. How much work went into educating the community? In so doing did the project managers do its work in helping the community appreciate the vantages of this to them? What would the value addition be to the community? What we dont appreciate is the real cost of power in this country. How elastic is the demand? How has government misled us in believing that Power is an entitlement?
    You living in South Africa, see that entitlement notion in the news (currently where the taxi operators are demanding…

  9. Please Zambians, can you not save yourselves from idyots like Chindende and the rest of the ultra corrupt imposed by Lungu?
    This guy is one of the clear symbols of PF failures with others like Kalyakya at BoZ!
    Does Chindende know what his job is? To waste so much money on meters just because he has failed to generate enough electricity is sheer madness!
    Let that fool go because we have many other better qualified Zambians that can manage ZESCO better. Please dont tolerate that mediocrity. Mother Fcker just go now otherwise burn him! We cant afford that foolishness.

  10. Goodness gracious me. Was this put to tender? Which board of directors would approve a project like this given the challenges Zesco has? This looks like wht someone has termed “kongola twibe”.

  11. Firstly i clearly remember that we were told the kafue will come on line by May this year. Now we are told that first quarter next year, which is a full year later. Secondly we were told that the water will take some weeks to reach kariba, which still hasn’t. Thirdly we were told in December that the tarrif increament of 200% is very necessary for load shedding to stop, but just 2 months later its back. Oh and i forgot the part where load shedding was due to climate change and not enough rain, but now with so much rain last year, thats proven not to be true. Part of this zesco inefficiencies since 2013, the economy has been killed and even now we are still killing whatever remains of the industries. Now that we have increased the tarrifs, just import the shorfall.

  12. What ZESCO is saying is that it doesn’t want you to consume what what it wants to export by controlling the consumer’s private use.
    Better you invest that $40M in domestic solar and gas solutions for the consumers as an option. Please ask Elon Musk

  13. This Zesco MD has not addressed the reason why load shedding has increased especially just after consumers sounded the alarm about units “disappearing”. The man clearly needs help in running this company.

  14. Imagine you switch on your Geyser to bath in the morning as you prepare to go for work and only for ZESCO to remotely switch it off one minute later? Just think for once how much confusion and inconvenience this will create. Isn’t this an attempt to fundraise for 2021? And where will this money come from when our revenue was reported by ECL as having gone down by over 30%? How is this obscene expenditure a priority now? I think we need an urgent Malawi!

  15. More money looted …surely how can a smart meter cost $40 million and save electricity when the consumer is still has the same consumption…a meter is updated with a tariff every time you top up or via mobile sme card inside. ….this scheme should not cost more than 5 million dollars plus the meters he is talking about are outdated todays meters have SME cards which can be topped up via mobile phones they too would not cost $40 million which is day light robbery.

  16. PF recklessness again merging with a foreign company and then asking for minimum shareholding ….this EL SEWEDY ELECTRIC is an Egyptian firm I mean what is wrong with us…why can we just hire foreign consultants and Senior Engineers from foreign countries to work with our people in these projects. ..these products can easily supplied to ZESCO by smart electric meter manufacturers at one quarter of that price being wasted by ZESCO and that wasteful 60% shareholding to a foreign entity.

  17. Really an inb3cile you are. These home smart systems runoff WIFI and we have cable as TV and every appliance is connected. How many houses . You thieves including your original KZ employer from SH have just an instantiable appetite to steal. Why not Help HE over come the past but all of you are including you paid doubles are are sufferers living for a coin. How many houses will afford. Please don’t you get tired of stealing???? Please god what punishment is this of thieves in every corner running the country. please god What has my mother country done. Forgive us God.

  18. “….ZESCO will soon roll out Smart meters which will allow the utility company to remotely switch off some appliances in households as part of load management…”

    I find this hard to fathom.

    These meters need 2 way communication with zesco via broadband , have all households got broadband for those meters to be talking to zesco ? Also appliances and switches will need some intelligence to accept to be turned off.

    Mr mudende is talking as if fiber has reached household or is up to street cabinets.

  19. Zesco should instal solar power to
    Each and every home and cost should be shared equally by the
    Home owners and zesco.This will
    End this problem forever.zesco
    Should give contracts to ten solar
    Companies to install.

  20. Imagine running a business that is in such demand that you cannot meet the supply, then spending 40 million USD so you can sell less product and piss your customers off even more instead of investing in increased production capacity so you can sell more of the product, make money and a healthy profit.

    This is what communism looks like.

  21. Cat power I was asking for you a few days ago as you had gone quiet. How are you? No need for the insults and hostile reception. Our culture requires us to first greet each other before having constructive debate. I hope you and your family are ok.

  22. In this country we are now in the era of smart stupidity at the expense of the already oppressed and that is why we have collectively lost our economic sovereignty to outsiders.

  23. Why should ZESCO control power i consume in my household? As long as I am paying then I have the right to use what I have purchased as much as I want. Instead, ZESCO should generate more power and encourage people to consume more so that the company makes more money. Ba MD, don’t be an *****

  24. ZESCO is just a cash cow for Ruling Parties that needs unbundling they simplycan manage the retail side of the business let them focus on Generation… no wonder they are accused of tempering with the tariffs to rip off consumers.

  25. Cat power- this imposter seems to have got under your skin yet you are calling him out…really laughable…you seem to now even think he is connected to SH. How long have you been on LT? 7 years + c’mon

  26. In Egypt access to electricity is 100% of the population of 102,319,630. They only have one river and three hydro power stations. But they have set up other generation plants to meet the demand. But here in Zambia gnorant PF surrogates support st.u.p.i.d.i.t.y. This system being proposed a conduit of symphonying money from the company.

  27. @ Kaizar Zulu, you’re right on the need for more households to jump onto affordable alternative energy sources. Parents/guardians must also emphasise on the importance of turning of lights in unoccupied rooms and let us sensitise our house helps on doing the same.

  28. How can Zesco stop consumers consuming power they hv paid for? ERB will be petitioned to stop this absurdity. Zesco has other priorities surely.

  29. Truth Hates – there is zero value addition in such a project to even form a 60/40 partnership when even a manufacturer would have done this project with trainng and monitoring for less than half price…I wonder how this company makes reckless decisions already they paid ESKOM SA $27 million for power supply that hasn’t been delivered.
    The Egyptians are laughing at our stupidity…and those taking an impostor who is in England supporting such rampant waste of scarce resources needs to get their heads checked.

  30. In as much as I agree with Zesco that innovation is a good idea but I disagree with you on Timing!
    Why monitor people’s use of power when it’s theirs?
    Increase the capacity of power generation by using those resources to Fund Solar power. This is not time to curtail power use but to encourage it because you’re doing business with citizens. We urge you to be a reliable customer. We won’t allow #Big_government

  31. Nemwine – Zesco Board is chaired by one Mbita Chitala, that says it all…PF have now moved from Tenders to mergers with foreigners so they can easily share the cuts with foreigners away from prying eyes. What a shame no heart for the country.

  32. First, …… the OBJECTIVE should be SMART metres to help charge correct Bills to citizens not to forcefully turn their power usage.
    HOW LONG? Eh, now long shall citizens suffer. Load shed of 8-12 hours is just no point of having a national energy company. Blimey…is it a case of a couple of hours to bathe or grab a cup of hot tea? Honestly this is DARK AGES for sure.

    Anyway, citizens must counter this by exploring off-grid living. Just refuse to use the service and turn to Solar. Gas……….candles(!). The BRIGHT SIDE of things is…….. YOU SAVE ON BILLS! Yay….or Not! And the use of a power company called El Sewedy is funny….where did they get them…. off an Al-Qaeda battle field? They certainly specialise in pulling electronic switches on or off like…

  33. The BRIGHT SIDE of things is…….. YOU SAVE ON BILLS! Yay….or Not! And the use of a power company called El Sewedy is funny….where did they get them…. off an Al-Qaeda battle field? They certainly specialise in pulling electronic switches on or off like ……..Kabooom!!!!!

  34. The meters will cost $40 million. Maybe this is the motivation for the ZESCO MD…. procurement manoeuvres

  35. “He says a Copperbelt meter manufacturing company, El Sewedy, in which ZESCO owns 40 percent undertook a two-year pilot project whose results are successful.”
    If the so called results were successful …publish the report and state why it was a success to warrant you wasting $40 million.


  37. How people with such type of thinking can be appointed to run such sensitive institutions is beyond me, how can loadshading become a new normal , these clowns need to be replaced with credible people before the make people to suffer the more,how can normal people sit down just to come up with such stupid ideas.

  38. You go high-tech to enhance incompetence. Amama neo cifundo. So high speed cabling will soon run in shanties while the precarious standard of living continues to titter on a cliff edge…

  39. For PF it is still climate change load shedding still on even after floods useless government in the whole world if you have failed leave for others.

  40. What kind of Strategists has Zesco employed. They are busy closing the revenue tap. Invest in generation and transition capabilities and capacities. How difficult is the simple logic. The market is there, what is missing is the commodity. Please people who invests in reducing revenue while in business. PF -zesco do the right thing and invest in power generation.

  41. Bemba’s say ‘akanyelele nga wakapatikisha kalasuma’.One day ZESCO will be charged for Sabotage.

    ZESCO should spend money on capacity building in order to inject into the system fresh and workable ideas. Iam sure Zesco has now run out of ideas and wants to provoke the Zambian citizens.The impact of monopoly will be felt by the middle class. Zesco offices will be drawing a lot of clients for various reports. Is that the company’s agenda now?1

    Yes, technology is good, but should be executed to the peoples benefit.

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