Foreign currency allocation delaying prepaid meter project
Harare-The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) says the delivery of prepaid meters for installation in the second phase is being constrained by inadequate foreign currency allocation.
ZESA chief executive Josh Chifamba said the second phase which has already begun is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017.
“The meters for phase 2 have started coming in . To date 11500 meters out of 130 000 on order have been delivered .However the bulk of these meters are being installed on new points that have waited for service for long periods. The delivery of meters is being constrained by inadequate foreign currency allocation,” said Chifamba
Chifamba said phase 2 involves installation of 100 000 meters on remaining post-paid and load limit points mostly in Harare and Bulawayo.
36 000 smart meters are expected to be installed in this second phase .
The use of smart meters came about after the authority realised massive leaks of pre-paid meter units which have seen more than 4 000 properties in Harare using electricity for free via by-passing the meters or tampering with them Zesa is forecast to save US$120 million yearly once the smart meter project is completed.
Zesa has installed 568 554 prepaid meters — more than the targeted 564 859 for the first phase of the project.
Overally, Zesa targets to install 800 000 prepaid electricity meters and 140 000 smart meters by 2018.
The power utility has also set several measures to help in the collection of revenue and improve efficiency for the power utility this year.