Zimbabwe’s state electricity utility has introduced a lower priced tariff band which partly comes as a relief to consumers already grappling with soaring inflation that is eroding their earnings.
The southern African nation’s electricity supply has improved in the past few months due to hike in tariffs. However, Zimbabwean consumers have realised the benefits of using Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as an alternative source of energy as part of managing their energy bills.
In every calendar month, customers are allocated 50 units at a lifeline tariff rate of $0.52 costing $26, including levies. The next 150kWh (51 to 200 kWh) in the same calendar month being charged at $1.14 cost $172, including levies.
The new tariff band consisting of 100 kWh, which stretches from 201 to 300 kWh, will therefore cost $312, including levies. “The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is pleased to announce the introduction of a lower priced tariff band in order to better improve the customer experience, with the new tariff band being a positive response to customer requests for lower priced units beneath the premium band effective 12th June 2020,” ZETDC said in a statement.
Any additional purchase in excess of 300 kWh within the same calendar month will still be charged at a rate of $4.88/kWh including levies. ZETDC added that: “In response to the high month end demand for prepaid tokens by customers, the power utility is in the process of upgrading the electricity token vending system to ensure that it operates efficiently.”
In August 2019, the power utility introduced domestic stepped tariff to encourage consumers to use electricity efficiently and to make power affordable to low consumption households. However, the stepped tariff has different prices for various consumption bands. Higher consumption attracts a higher tariff and customers are thus advised to buy electricity that is sufficient to their monthly needs.