Wednesday, May 29, 2024

ZESCO proposes 37-percent tariff increase to boost alternative energy investment

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ZESCO, Zambia’s state-owned power company, has proposed a 37-percent tariff increment in a bid to attract more investments in power generation and distribution. The company has applied to the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) for the increase, citing the urgent need to invest in alternative energy sources to lessen Zambia’s dependence on hydro power.

During a recent stakeholder engagement meeting held at the Garden Court Hotel in Kitwe, ZESCO Head of Business Development Fitzpatrick Kapepe explained the company’s plan to pursue investments in alternative energy sources. ZESCO Chief Engineer Systems Operations Kennedy Bupe also disclosed that the utility is investing in other alternative energy sources like solar to meet national demand for electricity.

However, ZESCO’s efforts to provide reliable power have been met with challenges, as unknown people in the early hours of today cut and stole ZESCO cables in Livingstone’s Burton township, leaving over six hundred families in darkness. The incident occurred near a transformer, and it is suspected that the cables were stolen between 3 and 4 am. This is the second time that vandals have targeted the transformer in a year.

The Mwalibonena Ward Councillor, Juliet Hambizyi, has urged ZESCO to conduct massive sensitization programmes in communities so that residents can quickly report when such incidents happen. Ms. Hambizyi also called for more investments in the energy sector to address the country’s power challenges.

In response to the incidents of vandalism, ZESCO has been urging customers in the tourist capital to immediately report power cuts that happen between 10 pm and 5 am as that is the time most vandals take place. The utility has also called on residents to help protect its installations by reporting any suspicious activity.

Zambia’s power sector has been grappling with power cuts and load shedding due to a combination of factors, including a drought that has reduced the country’s hydro power output. ZESCO’s proposed tariff increment is seen as a way to attract more investments in alternative energy sources and reduce the country’s dependence on hydro power. However, the recent incidents of vandalism highlight the need for increased security and community involvement in protecting the country’s power infrastructure.

22 COMMENTS

  1. IMF CONDITIONS yaba. Turn to China imwe ba UPND otherwise people will die and PF will come back. After so many years mu Opposition then you rule only for 1 term sure just because of IMF?

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  2. It’s complicated. It’s not that simple. IMF told us to sell State owned industries as a solution to the then our economic woes but instead we created another problem.. unprecedented unemployment.

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  3. Well we all knew this was coming, first they tested you with load shedding and now you will be forced to pay high electricity tariffs to satisfy the harvesters. This type of capitalism is only beneficial to the so called investors whose only focus is to take everything for very little input.

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  4. kkkkkk stop lying and can some one please fire this board because they are of no value to the zambian.You are there to bring solution to the zambians and not making life difficult for the people,is this decampaning or what? UPND sure why are you going opposite backwards instead of foward, mmmmm awweeee can this minister of energy be fired together with ERB board they save no purpose and why keep them.How can you increase low cost from k700 to k5000, were on earth surely, takwaba this is out of selfishness, ERB is not working and stop lying,for zambia to export power then we are safe but to increase so as to attract investment mmmmm stop lying.

  5. Rubbish,
    We do not need anymore tarriff hikes. You have too many directors and too many employees doing nothing. You need to downsize.

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    • Independent…. funny when PF tried to increase the tariffs YOU used to complain that Zesco tariffs were the highest in the region. Where’s your morality you people?

  6. The electricity tarrif in Zambia is too low at 3-4 cents /Kwh. Its essentially subsidized power as ZESCO is a loss making entity
    Mozambique the largest exporter of power in the region has a tarrif of 10.5 cents/kwh
    Namibia – 11 cents/kwh
    Zimbabwe – 11.5 cents/kwh
    Botswana – 8 cents/kwh
    South Africa – 6 cents/kwh
    DRC – 9 cents/kwh

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  7. Zambia is generating excess hydroelectric power most of which is being exported to other countries. In this regard, it will make sound economic sense for Zambia to utilize financial gains arising from sales of electricity exports so as to invest in the construction of more power generation plants. Export of electricity consolidates our economy which is being driven by exports of minerals, agricultural products and the thriving tourism industry. Why punish Zambians? A billion Dolar Question is: WHO IS ADVISING GOVT ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF ZAMBIA??

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  8. All these years of subsidies on fuel and electricity is coming to
    An end.IMF has come to enforce
    Cost reflecting tarrffs.Will Zambians survive?They should
    Have done it slowly .

  9. Really laughable…this is truly a poorly run company always asking the consumner to cover for its inefficiencies and ERB will simply approve this as they need to keep their jobs on the board

  10. @Mwansa Kabinga
    The gains from ZESCO exporting electricity end up being used to cover losses as a result of the low tariffs. Thats why ZESCO is still a loss making. Are you suggesting that other countries in the region are punishing their citizens?
    The fact is even a non profit charitable organization at the minimum breaks even. ZESCO is operating worse than a charity.
    Zambians should move away from surviving on charity or hand outs.

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  11. @independent: Stop pretending and giving us useless numbers. Don’t compare our tariffs with other countries. You need to look at the effects of the increased tariffs will do to Zambians.

    @independent, let’s be realistic. Not all Zambians are like you. Be a praise singer who can sympathise with other people. Be a praise singer who should say NO to bad things.

    We all know it’s pay back time now. IMF is in control.

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  12. If there are people wanting to invest in energy provision let them set up their plants and compete with Zesco. Why would increasing Zesco tariffs attract investment? This is like telling a four year old child that babies drop from the sky.

  13. All very theoretical.
    Have you thought about what the effect will be on businesses? Or on the ordinary zambian? Basically you are going to increase the cost of living by a proportional amount.
    And how much does the ordinary zambian earn? The guy driving a mini bus or a conductor. Or the woman selling vitumbuwa on the street? And on top of that the kwacha has been in free fall the last several weeks. Almost reaching the same levels as under pf who were being squeezed by the west.Guys let’s be realistic.

  14. This will mean people stop using electricity. Also increase in prices of goods manufactured in zambia as one of the inputs of manufacturing is electricity and that will make prices too high for locally manufactured goods making people go for imported cheaper options leading to a drain on meager foreign reserves. Staple food like bread will be the first thing to go up.

  15. If they can guarantee no load-shedding at all, this may be saleable.

    But why not bring in competition to bring prices down? These price increases are being necessitated by a bloated workforce/overheads at ZESCO.

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