Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma on Tuesday appointed the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority Board as a way of promoting efficiency in the energy industry.
The six-member board will be tasked with performing functions such as the regulation of the procurement, production, transportation, transmission, distribution, importation and exportation of energy derived from any energy source.
The board members include chairman Canada Malunga, Betty Katiyo, Tendai Mhere, Tapuwa Mashingaidze, Hilda Shindi and Ndomupeyi Flora Chikonye.
The creation of the board had been in the pipeline for a long time and it has been constituted following the promulgation of the Energy Regulatory Authority Act, a piece of legislation that broadens the jurisdiction to regulate electricity, fuel and other forms of energy.
“The functions of the Energy Regulatory Authority will be to create, promote and preserve an efficient energy industry market for the provision of sufficient energy for domestic and industrial use,” said Mangoma.
The appointment of the board comes at a time when power utility Zesa increased electricity tariffs by 31%, resulting in consumers raising issues such as failure by Zesa to present actual meter readings to consumers, as well as power outages.
But Mangoma said a cost-effective tariff was imperative to ensure good service delivery and attract investment in the power sector.
“ZETDC (Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company) has improved its meter reading from 75% at the beginning of 2010 to an average of 81% in the second quarter of 2011 and this has enabled the utility to reduce the number of estimated bills for customers and also improve the level of accurate bills. The focus is now on implementing the pre-paid metering system,” Mangoma said.
He said the new tariff of $9,83 per kilowatt was still below regional electricity tariffs and empowered consumers to control their electricity bills as they would now only pay for what they consumed since the monthly fixed charge had been removed.