Zesa forges ahead with pre-paid meters for industry, farms

Zesa forges ahead with pre-paid meters for industry, farms

BULAWAYO, March 6 (The Source) – The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company says it will soon roll-out 4,000 smart meters for heavy power consumers — industry, mines and farms — after closing the tender for the project.

There is strong political opposition to pre-paid metering on farms, but the state utility, which is owed about $1 billion by consumers, seems determined to plough ahead.

ZETDC is a subsidiary of power utility ZESA Holdings which deals with the transmission and distribution of electricity.

Managing director Engineer Julian Chinembiri told The Source that the move was likely to bring effectiveness in the management of power for big companies.  

“These smart meters are targeting the industry, heavy power users and of course the farming community as well where they also use a lot of power in irrigation. Our target is that by year end to have 4 000 clients on smart meters,” he said.

Zesa has been making a lot of losses mainly due to defaulting customers, primarily industry.

Last year the parastatal said it expected to incur a loss of $189 million and identified the smart meter project as a way to avoid loss of revenue.

The smart meters will work similarly to the prepaid meters which the company has already installed for domestic users but is not susceptible to tampering.

In total, the parastatal plans to to roll out 40,000 smart meters to industry and mines.