Govt orders use of solar geysers

GOVERNMENT will, in the next two weeks, introduce legislation to compel households to use solar-powered geysers, as it moves to regulate electricity consumption.

Speaking yesterday in Harare at the official ground-breaking ceremony of constructing the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority’s new headquarters in Mt Pleasant, Energy and Power Development permanent secretary Patson Mbiriri said solar water geysers would reduce energy consumption within households.

“My ministry is also promoting the uptake of solar water geysers under the National Solar Water Heating programme. In fact, the draft regulations have just come back from the Attorney-General’s Office ready for gazetting, so exciting times. As I said, we are just about to hit the bridge and shake it. The regulations on solar water geysers will be gazetted in the very near future,” he said.

“Usually, when you hear a technocrat saying ‘in the very near future’, be wary of what they mean. But, in this particular instance, we are talking about in the next week or two, certainly not beyond, so it will certainly be in the very near future.”

Mbiriri said electric geysers consumed about 40% of power at a household level, which was being wasted and not being used productively, hence, the solar geysers initiative.

Most of the electricity costs in households come from the use of geysers which reach peak usage during winters.

Apart from that, geyser usage peaks in the morning.

In December 2017, the government said it was mulling a ban on electrical geysers due to their power consumption, reporting that the country has 140 000 electrical geysers. A ban on these would save at least 280 megawatts of electricity.

In an endeavour to promote the uptake of renewable energy, the government is also in the process of promulgating net metering regulations which will enable excess power from rooftops solar PV projects to feed into the electrical grid on agreed terms.

The idea behind having the excess electricity feed into the grid was to bolster power distribution in the country and increase the current levels while saving on importing electricity.

“In fact, we have a structure in Graniteside, which is already connected to the grid and feeding the grid from a rooftop . . . exciting times indeed in the energy sector as we deploy more solar,” Mbiriri said.

“Rooftop solar PVs reduce consumers energy bills, provide energy security at consumer level and have a long term impact, as they reduce transmission and distribution losses as well as replace expensive spend by using diesel generators.”

He said his ministry was advocating energy efficiency.

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  1. this is a joke these gadgets a damn expensive and only a few have money to to buy and install them maybe zesa should order them and put the cost on electrcity bills for those who can afford and cannot do with a icy old shower either in the morning or in the evening

  2. Remove duty and allow people to import at a lower cost. In fact, as a country, we should start considering the removal of duty and other taxes from ALL solar products. Thats being progressive.

    1. yes yes

    2. Comment…that’s the besy solution. not tat barbaric aw of vanning what ever they think is not doing well with their looting.

  3. yeah expensive but you buy it ones and it will save you thousands for life so it worth a try because the whole world is going for renewable energy solar geyser is a good move

  4. They must allow for importation without duty 1 per household and then standardize the price per size eg. 50l 100l so that the standard price is then offset against the client’s/consumers bill over a period of say 2 years. That way the consumer is motivated to buy one because they will recover the cost and Zesa wins also because the consumer will have reduced consumption. There are may ways this could be worked out, but ultimately we need to start exploring harvesting solar in order to find long term sustainable energy options

  5. The phrase “Government orders” doesn’t sound right. What government should do is to put measures in place to promote use of the Solar geysers such as scratching duty, rolling out prepaid meter to every household not to order because people can’t just afford that. And you won’t be surprised that there is a minister who owns a company to supply these, hence ordering.

  6. Those gysers only work in summer, in winter when there is a lot of cloud cover, you only get warm water in the mid morning when you no longer need it

    1. This is not true, we’ve been using solar geysers (without Zesa elements) for the last four years and we have only a few days a year in which the water doesn’t get boiling hot. the insulation is very good they hold the heat in for many hours, in cloudy weather you must learn to be sparing with the use of hot water.

  7. Yes, No-one is arguing that Gigi, the point is, government must scrape duty on all solar products if they want this project to be a success, otherwise kungomocha chete. There must be mechanisms that encourage all the stack-holders in our country to take the initiative. There are two ways, either the supply authority to do it on behalf of its customers just like what they did on pre-paid meters or the government to scrape duty. You don’t just work any day any time and impose certain policies to people. Experience has shown that it always fail. Need proper planning and awareness to the people.

  8. still as a nation we are not producing the solar products . govt should also include a way for the nation to start seeing into the issue of producing our own solar products, but the plants to produce solar technology. as it is , we just deferred the electricity money to solar but its all on the import bill. provides for research institutes to do the job and produce favorable results through support

  9. Nothing wrong in trying to save electricity. I hope the Government has done its homework. I suggest for those who already own electrical geysers the Government should be responsible of replacing the electrical geysers. As for the new owners a duty free or affordale solar geysers must be made available to the consumers.
    a proper thought of comapanies who are in the business of selling and maintaining electrical geysers must done in order to preserve employment.
    My verdict would be to allow those using electrical geysers to continue and installation of stocks already sitting in the country. Ban any new imports and stop any new manufacture of electrical geysers. It has to be a process

  10. A draconian law should not be allowed. If members of parliament allow this law to go through then we the people must vote them out of power come the elections. Such disrespect for the people is unacceptable.

  11. Just increase the generation of electricity. Isn’t it that ZESA makes money from zesa usage. Renewable energy is the way to go but not by arm twisting citizens. Basic things first.

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