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Zimbabwe’s national power utility, Zesa, will invest about $200 million in the installation of smart meters for medium and heavy consumers of electricity.

This development follows after the utility recently announced that since the deployment of their prepaid meter system five years ago, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has seen an improvement in revenue inflows of 35%. Read more…

Local media, the Herald, noted that Zesa has recently completed the installation of 590,518 prepaid meters for phase one of the prepaid meter project.

However, the Herald further highlighted that the project is 6% behind target due to foreign currency payment challenges.

“The total cost for the prepaid metering project was around $100 million and the total cost for [the] smart metering project is estimated at around $190 million including [the] cost of the Meter Data Management System,” Zesa said.

Smart meters augment revenue

According to Zesa, points targeted for smart meters contribute around 60% of ZETDC’s revenue.

The power utility is aiming to install 4,000 smart meter units by December this year and a total of 40,000 when the project is completed in 2019.

It is reported that 25,000 of the awarded tender for 130,000 units have been delivered.

“The full scope of [the] smart metering project is 40,000 meters and the balance will be deployed on a phased approach and the project is expected to be complete by the first quarter of 2019,” Zesa said.

The Herald also stated that smart meters will be deployed at points where it is technically not feasible to deploy standard prepaid meters. Read more…

Migration to prepayment system

This move is expected to enable ZETDC to convert medium and large power users to prepayment and assist the group to prevent the accumulation of debt while improving operational efficiency.

After the switch to the prepaid system, Zesa’s legacy debt for customers that were migrated to the prepaid platform, both domestic and business, is currently at $247 million, media reported.

The debt recovery strategy based on a fixed percentage deduction of 50% for every purchase has been very effective as it leaves customers with enough for current electricity consumption.

Total debt collected since the commencement of the project is reported to be around $123 million.

 

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