ZESA Holdings yesterday said the implementation of the new pre-payment meter system will reduce the frequency of load-shedding because consumers will be forced to monitor their consumption levels closely.
Report by Staff Reporter
The power utility has so far installed 19 000 prepaid meters countrywide.
According to Zesa, the installation programme is set to be completed within 10 months.
In a statement, Zesa said its load-shedding schedule was determined by the amount of electricity available at any given time.
“Load-shedding is done when demand exceeds supply and if the supply situation has not improved, customers will continue to experience load-shedding even after conversion to prepaid,” the utility said.
“However, pre-payment metering will reduce the frequency of load-shedding because with prepaid meters, customers will manage their demand and consumption closely, thereby reducing the total demand imposed on the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC)’s system.”
Zesa said the new system will also improve ZETDC’s cash flow and the money would be used to buy more electricity from neighbouring countries.
“With prepaid meters, all customers will consume what they have paid for, which is a way of monitoring demand and hence reduce the frequency of load-shedding,” the statement added.
The installation of prepaid meters was initially rejected by Bulawayo residents after the power utility had insisted that residents pay outstanding balances before new accounts could be activated.
Zesa has since reversed the decision and will now be deducting 20% of every prepaid purchase made to settle the outstanding debts.