State utility Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), a subsidiary of Zesa Holdings, is poised to re-introduce tiered pre-payment electricity tariffs for its residential customers.

Zimbabwe’s energy regulator has pushed for the replacement of a flat rate from September 1 as part of its 2014 tariff directive.

The first 50-kilowatt-hour (kwh) will be billed at 2c per unit while those who consume between 51kwh and 300kwh are charged at 11 cents per unit. Those who exceed the 300 units are charged at a higher charge of 15c per unit.

ZETDC said customers risked losing their $0,02 monthly life line if they exhausted purchased units within a month.

A ZESA spokesman said: “The introduction of the stepped domestic payment tariff will now require consumers to use electricity more efficiently.

“Heavy domestic users will pay more for their consumption.”

In 2011, Zesa began a rollout of prepaid meters with a target of installing 800,000 units by the end of 2014.

Solahart, China’s ZTE, Finmark and Nyamazela of South Africa have already installed 377, 552 units, according to local media reports.