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Zera threatens to destroy incandescent lights


The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) has threatened to seize and destroy incandescent lighting products, as it intensifies the campaign for the use of energy saver lighting products.


Zera chief executive Gloria Magombo
Zera chief executive Gloria Magombo

The energy regulator is working to fully implement Statutory Instrument (SI) 21 of 2017, which prohibits the importation, manufacturing, distribution and retail of inefficient lighting products. The regulation went into effect at the beginning of the month.

In discussions with lighting stakeholders at Zera’s Inefficient Lighting Stakeholder workshop on Friday in Harare, Zera chief executive officer, Gloria Magombo, said the regulator would seize any stock of the incandescent lighting products from lighting companies.

“The issue which the Zera technical director (Misheck Siyakatshana) has said still stands. It does not matter whether you have these bulbs in the black market. Anyone who is going to be caught selling them, we are going to confiscate them and I think that the key issue is what will the confiscation mean? It means they are going to be destroyed,” she said.

“They are not going to be confiscated so that they can be kept somewhere, they are going to be confiscated and we will crush them so that they cannot be uses. So the issue here is if you do have those bulbs, our role as the regulator is to encourage you to find some alternative use which does not bring them into the market.”

Lighting companies are still selling the banned lighting products as they were cheaper than importing components of the now required energy-saving lighting products.

Stakeholders present cited higher duties and taxes associated with bringing in the required components of lighting products as the reason why they were finding it difficult to produce energy saving lights.

However, nearly all of the lighting companies present which included Powerspeed, Lighting World, Led Lite and Flint among others, showed interest in moving to more energy-efficient lighting products.

Findings from Zera revealed that just one of these lighting products banned under SI21 of 2017 consume on average 100W, which Zera said in its absence would reduce demand for electricity thereby lowering the costs of importing electricity.

“I think the example which Siyakatshana gave if you put in 100 000 of those you are creating a demand of 10 megawatts onto the system and that demand is being met through imports with money which we do not have. So you are a cost to the economy so find a way of how to dispose those,” Magombo said.

According to SI 21 of 2017, T10 and T12 halo phosphate fluorescent lamps and/or magnetic ballasts, lighting products with a power factor less than 0,55 for lamps less than 25 watts and less than 0,9 for lamps greater than or equal to 25 watts are banned.

Further to that, lighting products with higher mercury content as stipulated on SI 21 of 2017 are also banned, along with incandescent or filament light bulbs on the piece of legislation.

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