Struggling power utility the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has implemented a new electricity tariff system which seeks to punish heavy power users and conserve electricity. The new system comes at a time the country has been plagued by massive fire shortages which have resulted in rampant load shedding of up to 18 hours a day.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STEPPED DOMESTIC PREPAYMENT TARIFF
In line with the recently approved Electricity tariffs for 2019, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) would like to advise its valued customers that it has now started implementing the stepped prepayment tariff for domestic consumers to replace the flat rate tariff of 14c/kWh which was previously used for domestic customers.
The flat-rate tariff afforded customers of electricity a standard tariff for purchases despite the kWh purchased and the number of times customers bought electricity in the month and was thus wasteful and expensive for low power users.
The implementation of the stepped tariff is with effect from 1st August 2019.
The implementation of the stepped domestic prepayment tariff is designed to encourage practices of conserving electricity by consumers given the current power supply situation.
The stepped domestic electricity tariff encourages customers to use electricity more sparingly and efficiently and rewards them with a lower tariff with heavy domestic power users having to pay more for higher consumption. Customers are thus advised to buy electricity units that are sufficient for their monthly consumption as any excess units would be charged at the higher tariff.
In every calendar month, customers are afforded a lifeline tariff rate of $0.06 ($6.00) for the first 50 kWh, which is enough electricity to power a two-plate stove and five lights for a calendar month for a single household, with the next 150 kWh (150 to 200kWh) in the same calendar month being charged $0.30 ($30.00). The first 200 kWh are enough for the majority of domestic households. Any additional purchases in excess of 200 kWh within the same calendar month, is thus charged at a higher rate of $0.40 ( $40.00).
ZETDC advises customers that the lifeline tariff is enjoyed at point of the first purchase of unites during any calendar month to cushion the less privileged consumers and is enjoyed once every month.
For example, if a customer buys $48.00 worth of electricity, the units would be calculated as follows:
0 – 50 kWh – 50 x 0.06 = $3.00
51 -200 kWh – 150 x 0.30 = $45.00
Total – 200 khW = $48.00
The power utility further advises that if the same customer comes for a second purchase within the same month using the same amount of money ($48.00), he/she will receive 120 kWh and not 200 kWh as in the first purchase of that month. The reduced amount of electricity in kWh is due to the fact that the second purchase within the same calendar month is cumulative and thus the customer would have exhausted the lifeline benefit for that particular month.
In order to assist customers, prepayment vouchers will indicate how the units purchased are charged and the bands to which they belong in compliance with the provisions as set by the Regulator.
The stepped tariff takes cognisance of the depressed power supply situation emanating from the low levels at Lake Kariba and the need to conserve the available power and encourage customers to save foreign currency from wasted energy