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ZERC approves electricity hike

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The Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Commission (ZERC) has increased the average electricity tariff to 9,83 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) from 7,53 cents beginning next month to enable power utilities to recover operating costs and establish a path towards reflectivity.

In a statement published by ZERC yesterday, the commission scrapped fixed monthly charges for electricity consumers.

The authority said the second block for domestic consumers be adjusted to 51-300 units and lifeline tariff first 50 units be priced at 2,35 cents per kWh.

“In determination of the electricity tariff levels the commission noted the improvements in the economy over the period 2009 to date, local tariffs compared to regional tariff levels the state of local electricity supply infrastructure as well as revenue requirements of the utilities,” the commission said.

“The tariff adjustment should enable utilities to improve on the delivery of electricity in terms of increased and more reliable electricity production levels, correct meter reading, timeous production of bills more connections as well as embark on energy efficiency and demand side management activities.”

ZERC said the charges were adjusted in order to have a tariff that recognised the current state of the productive sectors.

The commission said it would continue to monitor operations of the utilities with the hope of improving service delivery and introducing stiff penalties where inefficiencies are observed as provided by the law.

Zesa Holdings group stakeholder relations manager Fullard Gwasira said the company welcomed the new tariff structure although it was still below the regional average of 12 cents per kWh.

“It is a step in the right direction, but there is still room to get a better tariff. This tariff will penalise those who use extensive electricity and is good for those who save power,” he said.

Early this year the government suspended a 30% tariff hike approved by ZERC that was meant to come into effect in February after an outcry from industry and domestic users.

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