1 October 2007 – The Centre for Social Concern (CFSC) has backed consumers who have expressed the need for the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) to provide prepaid meters to all domestic customers.

Such a move would help households with their spending, the NGO believes.

"With the current post-paid payment system by Escom, people with access to electricity shun using it for cooking because the costs are too high,” said Chrissie Kafundu, CFSC projects officer last week.

She added that in some cases, households used charcoal for cooking under a misconception that it was cheaper than electricity.

The Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) agreed with the call from CFSC. Cama’s education and awareness officer, Andrew Ussi, urged those interested in having a prepaid meter installed to contact Escom.

“Although it has a negative, side … if most consumers are incorporated into the new system, cases of overcharging would be curbed since people would pay for what they consume,” Ussi concluded.