By Staff Reporter
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) is encouraging people to harness liquefied petroleum gas as alternative energy sources.
The call by ZERA comes at a time when the country is dogged by erratic power supplies and experiencing rolling blackouts caused by load shedding.
Speaking at a recent energy workshop in Kwekwe, ZERA alternative energy expert Hugh Mlauzi, said due to its availability LP gas is an energy alternative which people can harness.
“Liquefied Petroleum gas is a cleaner energy alternative source which people can use. In recent years we have seen an increase in the uptake of LP gas being used by people in the country. LP gas is clean, it has no soot, does not mess pots at all,” he said.
He however, said an upsurge in the use of LP gas has seen a proliferation of illegal selling points across towns and cities in the country.
“We have seen the sprouting of illegal selling points of LP gas across towns and cities,” said Mlauzi.
“As Zera we do regulate energy in the country and LP gas is one of the energy forms which we regulate. Most people who are selling LP gas are doing so illegally. However, what is ironic is that a licence to sell LP gas is one of the cheapest provided you have been compliant to our requirements.”
Mlauzi said there is need for proper handling of LP gas.
“We must properly handle especially LP gas failure of which consequences can be disastrous. For instance, the gas naturally doesn’t smell when there is a leak,” he said.
“But for protection of consumers there is a chemical placed inside the gas which will smell when there is a leak. That is a protection mechanism, so that people will be aware that there is a gas leak in their home.
“If you find yourself in that situation we encourage you to switch off your gas tank if not switched off, and don’t switch on the lights as this will cause a spark thereby razing the entire house down. Open windows so as to allow the gas to escape because if there is a leak the whole house will be saturated with gas,” he said.
Mlauzi encouraged people to properly use and store the LP gas so as to safeguard lives.
The energy expert also discouraged people from buying gas cylinders outside the country.
“This is mainly because those cylinders do not meet our local environment, that is our temperatures. Those cylinders will be manufactured in temperatures which will be colder than our own therefore, those cylinders do not meet our local conditions and they will be a danger to our consumers,” he said.