4 January 2013 – The HeraldOnline reports that Zesa Holdings has won a small 0.3% increase in average electricity tariffs with the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) approving an increase of US9.86c per kilowatt hour from US9.83c.

Zesa Holdings, through the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), had applied for an average tariff increase of US9.94c kW/h. The regulatory authority also reduced tariffs for consumers on the maximum demand category by about 20%. These include mining, industrial, commercial and pumping works customers.

ZERA chief executive Gloria Magombo says there is a need to improve on the production levels at power stations. There is also a need to allow the power utility to access more electricity from regional suppliers. She says ZERA reduced tariffs for industrial customers due to the recognition that capacity charges had to be adjusted for capacity shortfalls and to encourage consumers to shift loads to off-peak.

“Any comparison of tariffs across the region requires that one looks at the sources from which the electricity is being supplied in each country which is often referred to as the energy mix,” she says. “Where there is dominance of the production of electricity from thermal sources, the costs are in most cases higher hence higher tariffs. This is the case with South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Where there is dominance of hydro generation the costs are relatively lower like cases of Zambia and Mozambique.”