Western Province Permanent Secretary, Simomo Akapelwa has bemoaned low ZESCO voltage being experienced by consumers in the region.
Mr Akapelwa says the province is witnessing low power voltage which is not good for industrialisation.
He said this when a team of Energy Regulation Board (ERB), Ministries of Finance and Energy officials paid a courtesy call to him in Mongu today.
“As a province, energy consumers face a lot of challenges due to low voltages being experienced. This low voltage will not assist us, especially that the province is going an industrialisation way,” Mr Akapelwa said.
He said the energy or the petroleum sector is a difficult sector because people in Zambia believe that the cost of energy is too high and producers say the production of energy is so high and then this is business.
“The energy sector as a business should get profits in order to sustain its operations and also give dividends back to the government. Do you think the government will allow producers of energy to charge the way they want or the government to subsidise or allow the economies to operate.
“We have been waiting for this cost of service electricity study for so long and for us in the streets, if the cost of petroleum is high, then everything is going to go up. People in Shangombo district are using thermal propelled power meaning everything will be expensive,” Mr Akapelwa said.
He said the tariff adjustment should be cost-reflective so that Zambia should not outprice itself from the regional markets due to the very expensive source of energy.
“We want to manufacture and trade in our region so if our energy becomes expensive, this will result in ourselves not benefitting from the much-needed revenue,” Mr Akapelwa said.
He said the country needs the producers of energy to keep investing in the production by building new power stations and look at other sources of energy such as solar or coal among others.
And ERB Manager Economic Regulation – Electricity, Rodgers Muyangwa said government has already studied the much talked about cost of electricity tariffs, adding that the process of consultation started with various stakeholders in all the ten provinces of the country.
“As you might be aware PS, government released what is called a green paper which is a preliminary position of government on the findings of that study, so as ERB we are presenting the findings of that study, while our colleagues from the Ministries of Finance and Energy will present the government report on the study,” Mr Muyangwa said.
The energy regulation team is in Western province to disseminate the findings of the electricity cost of service study and government’s green paper that was concluded in December last year and handed over to government in August this year.