Govt bans electric geysers as power shortages bite

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By Paidashe Mandivengerei

GOVERNMENT has with immediate effect banned the installation of electrical water geysers in the country as a move to manage electricity use during a period of massive shortages.

Under Statutory Instrument 235 of 2019 on Electricity Regulations released Wednesday, Energy Minister, Fortune Chasi said citizens were however free to set up solar geysers but at their own expense and in compliance with the country’s standards.

The move comes amid severe power shortages that have seen authorities implementing an 18 hour power-shedding schedule that has affected both industry and domestic consumers.

In early October, while officiating at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, Chasi lamented the low uptake in the installation of solar geysers by citizens.

In the first half of the year, less than 5000 solar geysers had been installed in Zimbabwe, which according to the Energy Ministry is a very insignificant figure.

“No owner of the premises after the effective day of these regulations shall connect electrical geysers but may, at his or her own expense, install and use solar water heating systems.

“Citizens shall not install electric geyser system but can use renewable energy like solar,” the SI reads in part.

SI 235 does not apply to households and businesses that have already installed an electric geyser system.

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has however exempted premises with technical limitations, and premises which use power from renewable energy.

Citizens who go against the regulation are liable to imprisonment for a maximum of one year or payment of a fine not exceeding Level 6 which is $300.