ZERA in drive to promote net metering, energy efficiency

Moses Ziyambi

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Agency (ZERA) on May 31 hosted a net metering and energy efficiency workshop in Masvingo where industry players called upon businesses and households to install solar systems in order to help reduce the country’s energy deficit.

Speaking to EnviroPress on the sidelines of the workshop, ZERA CEO Edington Mazambani said the people should be made to appreciate the benefits of net metering to families, businesses and to the country.

“Since you are generating your own solar energy part of which you feed into the national grid, it basically means you have reduced your energy bill per month because you are charged less per unit of energy that you take from the national grid,” said Mazambani.

He said for the country to attain Sustainable Development Goal 7 which deals with ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy; it had to improve efforts to harness all the available clean energy development potential.

“Any household or business generating between 1kW and 5kW of energy can be net metered and get to contribute to these efforts. At the moment we are running a free meter promotion whereby those who join now get the meters for free,” he said.

Earlier on, Engineer Chikeya of the Zimbabwe Electricity and Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) had said net metering should be complemented by energy efficiency behaviour at home.

“The country could save thousands of megawatts per day if people chose to switch off non-essential household electrical equipment. Although authorities are implementing several measures to lessen the burden of load shedding, individual homes and businesses have to come on board and help the country save electricity. It begins with the individual,” said Chikeya.

Other stakeholders said the acute energy shortages being felt in the economy should jolt businesses and households to utilize every inch of their rooftops to install solar panels.

In Masvingo, Kyle Preparatory School and the local warehouse of the state-controlled pharmaceutical company NatPharm are the only institutions that are net metered.

The workshop was attended by many other stakeholders including representative of the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ), Great Zimbabwe University (GZU), the Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA).