THE Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has approved a 320 percent electricity tariff increase to 162,16 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) to help Zesa improve power supply.
This comes after Zesa units, Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) and Zimbabwe Power Company’s (ZPC), applied for the tariff hike earlier this month.
The new tariff increase comes barely a month after ZERA approved another power tariff hike.
Only in August this year, ZERA reviewed electricity tariffs to 38,61c/kWh to improve supplies in the country, after the US dollar tariff of US9,86c/kWh was eroded to as little as US1,01c/kWh following the currency changes in February this year.
But despite the tariff adjustment in August, the power utilities insisted the tariff remained insufficient to mobilise financial resources sufficient to support their operations.
The new tariff is within range of what the State power utility, Zesa, had requested, which is a tariff payable in local currency but equivalent to the 2012 US dollar tariff of US9,86 cents per kWh.
The new power tariff also comes on the back of growing calls by local industry for ZERA to institute a power tariff hike as part of strategies to address the power crisis in the country.
The private sector even indicated that it was ready to pay a cost reflective electricity tariff of up to US$0,14 per kWh in return for constant supply of electricity in the country.
In a statement released yesterday, ZERA said the hike was part of efforts to restore normal electricity supply after the 38,61 cents/kWh was rendered ineffective by inflationary pressures.State media