The Sunday Mail
At least $12 million is being saved annually following a ban in the use of conventional incandescent bulbs, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) has said.
Zimbabwe outlawed high energy consuming lights through Statutory Instrument 21 of 2017. The SI called for an adoption of light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs that consume 80 percent less electricity.
Zera acting chief executive officer Engineer Misheck Siyakatshana said a conventional bulb uses an average 130 kWh or US$13 per year while an LED bulb requires 15kWh at US$1,50 annually.
He said the figures translate to energy import savings of about $1 million per month for the country.
“In terms of power saving, the country managed to save about 40MW every month through the elimination of inefficient lights.”
Eng Siyakatshana said the saved electricity could be channelled towards the productive sector.
“Zera considers energy efficiency as one of the most competitive and cost efficient ways of responding to increasing energy demand while lowering production costs and improving productivity,” he said.
“This is particularly so given the outcome of a 2015 National Energy Efficiency Audit which found out that approximately 20 percent of energy consumed in Zimbabwe is wasted.”
Eng Siyakatshana said Zera will continue to push for the full adoption of LED bulbs, adding that at least 500 000 incandescent lights bulbs had been confiscated since enforcement of the ban.
He said a total of 54 distributors had been charged with possession, importation or retailing of the banned incandescent bulbs and fined between $30 and $2 000.
It has been gathered that Zera has instituted measures to completely ban the importation and sale of electrical appliances that fail to meet energy efficiency standards set under its Minimum Energy Performance Standards regulations.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) president Mr Denford Mutashu said the sale of the banned lights remain prevalent among informal retailers who smuggle them into the country from neighbouring countries.
“No formal retailers and wholesalers are selling these bulbs. The informal traders who smuggle goods have continued to put the banned bulbs on the market,” he said. In 2011, Zesa Holdings introduced a US$12 million bulb exchange programme, where households were given free energy saving bulbs in exchange for their filament bulbs.