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Zesa measuring electricity losses

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THE Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZETDC) is undertaking a study to measure its electricity losses amid revelations that 17% of power is vanishing annually.

VICTORIA MTOMBA
BUSINESS REPORTER

ZETDC managing director Julian Chinembiri said under normal circumstances, 11% losses would be the acceptable benchmark for electricity losses.

“A project is underway to accurately determine the loss. We want to measure accurately our losses and then come up with measures to arrest those losses,” he said.

Chinembiri said the technical losses include the configuration of equipment for instance before dollarisation customers were buying equipment on their own which resulted in some cases wrong equipment being bought.

The non-technical problems would result when customers by pass meters resulting in no revenue collection on the part of Zesa.

He said that during a survey the power utility visited 5 851 suspected properties in Harare and 264 were found to have been tampered with and the customers were being prosecuted.

Chinembiri said the company sent nine people to Eskom South Africa to under study how the prepaid meters work.

The study comes at a time ZETDC has invested $15 million for Information Technology Solutions to improve its business performance and service delivery.
The power utility’s customer service centres across the country are now online using VSAT

and other technologies and plans were underway to install further systems that will improve the business operations and customer experience.

ZETDC revenue collection has been on an upward trend since 2009 when the country adopted the multi-currency.

Revenue collections by the transmission and distribution company took off in 2009 at $200 million rising to $800 million in 2012. It declined to $780 million in 2013.

The company however, said it recorded a 5% decline in collections in 2013 due to the harmonised elections when customers stopped paying bills in anticipation of a wholesale debt relief.

ZETDC is currently owed $944 million by various electricity debtors in the country.

The country is battling a crippling electricity shortage as generation cannot meet demand. The country is generating an estimated 1400MW daily against demand of over 2000MW.

Energy and Power Development minister Dzikamai Mavhaire told Parliament recently that power black-outs would continue until the completion of expansions and Hwange and Kariba Power Stations in 2017.

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