HARARE – The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) on Thursday increased domestic electricity tariffs by 50 percent, the second such raise in a week.
The ZESA subsidiary – struggling to pay for power imports – warned consumers of another increase on November 1.
Consumers were already smarting after the power utility on September 23 announced a 50 percent tariff increase.
In that round of increases, power usage between 0-50 KW was pegged at Z$0.74 per kilowatt up from Z$0.49 and consumers in the typical small family band of 201 and 301 KW saw tariffs go up from Z$2.94 per kilowatt consumed to Z$4.41.
The 51-200 KW went up to Z$1.63 per KwH from Z$1.08 previously while heavy domestic power users requiring upward of 301 KW per month were set a new tariff of Z$6.92 up from Z$4.61 per KwH.
In a fresh wave of increases announced on Thursday, the power utility raised the first 50 kilowatts from Z$0.74 to Z$1.19 making it Z$59.50, while the first 200 KW will now cost Z$387 at Z$2.58 KwH.
The third band which begins from 201 to 300KW will be sold at Z$7 per KwH, translating to Z$700.
On September 28, Zimbabwe was producing 1,207 megawatts of electricity from its coal-fired and hydro power plants against peak demand of 2,000 megawatts, according to Zesa. To avoid blackouts, the power utility is importing electricity from South Africa.
Zesa says it owes coal suppliers and regional power companies in excess of US$80 million, which it hopes to raise through hiking tariffs.
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority gave the nod to the tariff increases. In a letter to the power utility on September 29, ZERA CEO Edington Mazambani okayed what he described as “outstanding tariff adjustments.”
He added that ZEDTC should go on to implement the 50 percent increase on October 1 “and another on November 1.”
The tariff increases will hit consumers hard. Inflation of over 700 percent has fuelled price increases, but salaries have not kept up for many workers.
New Zesa tarrifs from October 1, 2020
♦ 0 – 50 KW ( $1.19/KwH) – Z$59.50
♦ 51 – 200 KW ($2.58/KwH) – Z$387.00
♦ 201 – 300KW (7.00/KwH) – Z$700.00
♦ 301+ KW ($11.01/KwH)