Everyone consumes energy in one form or another. This page provides information on consumer rights and responsibilities; energy saving and safe use tips and simplified information about various energy technologies. It also provides a platform for consumers to make complaints against ZERA and its licensees.
- Be treated fairly with kindness and due respect
- Privacy and to have confidential information protected
- Access to reliable and safe energy
- Be informed about energy price structure
- Advice on renewable energy technologies
- Advice on energy efficiency
- Guidance on solar energy products and services that meet set standards
- Responsive energy suppliers
- Timeous response to technical faults
- Resolution of complaints within reasonable timeframes
- Receive accurate and timely bills for post- paid meters
- Be informed about planned power outages well in time
- Be informed about energy supplier’s intention to terminate service and reasons thereof. Access to and be informed about safe handling, storage, dispensing and usage of energy products.
- Receive energy products that meets the stipulated quality standards. Access to and be informed about complaint handling procedure.
- Consumer education and awareness.
- Always pay my energy bills on time
- Cooperate with and support programs on the effective and efficient use of energy
- Allow energy suppliers access to consumers’ premises for purposes of inspection, meter reading, installation, testing, replacement or disposal of utility apparatus.
- Report any faults or damages to the utility property that can potentially cause accidents.
- Abide by the contractual obligations, terms and conditions of energy service provision.
- Follow appropriate channels of lodging complaints.
- Ensure that installations at premises are safe and pose no hazard.
- Use of energy efficiently in an environmentally friendly manner.
- Adhere to all safety procedures such as no smoking no use of all cell phones, no open flames, switching off engine and not using plastic containers at service stations.
- Report all cases of poor quality fuel, illegal vending and any unsafe acts.
ENERGY SUPPLIERS’ HAVE OBLIGATIONS TO:
- Carry out effective safety and security awareness campaigns on the consequences of improper use of electricity and petroleum products
- Raise awareness on the dangers of tampering with electricity infrastructure
- Raise awareness of the hazards associated with improper handling of petroleum products
- Encourage consumers to report any accidental fuel spillages and ensure appropriate fuel spillages
- Educate consumers of the dangers of storing fuel in inappropriate containers and structures as well as the consequences of mixing diesel with other products (such as paraffin) on vehicle engines.
- Listen to, acknowledge, process and address all consumer related issues linked to energy products or services within a reasonable time.
- Address power supply issues.
- Supply of products that meet set standards and are fairly priced.
- Resolve customer complaints.
Energy consumers may sometimes experience challenges with their suppliers regarding intermittent supply, metering, billing, and power or fuel quality leading to complaints being raised.
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has a statutory obligation to assist consumers with complaints within the energy sector.
- ZERA derives its mandate from the Energy Regulatory Authority Act (Chapter 13:23) of 2011.
- Among other functions, ZERA is expected to establish appropriate consumer rights and obligations regarding the provision of energy services;
- ZERA also derives its mandate from the Electricity Act (Chapter 13:19) of 2002 – Section 57 (1) and the Petroleum Act (Chapter 13:22) of 2006 – Section 51 (1) which set out the Consumer Protection standards
How do I make a complaint?
- Before submitting a complaint to ZERA, you should fully exhaust the energy product or service provider’s complaints handling procedure.
- You also have a right to request a complaints handling procedure from your energy service providers.
- As an energy consumer, you may only approach ZERA if you are dissatisfied with the handling of their complaint by an energy provider or if you consider the outcome inconclusive.
- You should also endeavour to put all complaints to the energy service provider in writing, where possible.
- Such correspondence may, when reporting to ZERA, serve as proof of communication between consumers and the energy provider as part of efforts to resolve the complaint.
- After you have exhausted the complaints handling procedures of the energy provider and are still dissatisfied, you may approach the Authority for mediation and/or arbitration.
How do I make a complaint to ZERA?
- You may fill in the complaints forms online ; make a phone call (phone numbers available here) or visit any of the ZERA offices.
- The following information should be included in a complaint correspondance:
- Your full name and physical address;
- The name of the energy service provider the complaint is being lodged against;
- Nature of the complaint together with all necessary documents to support the complaint; and
- Nature of harm or loss you have suffered as a result of failure by the energy provider to solve the complaint.
Is there anything else that the consumers should be aware of?
- In addition, all previous correspondence between the parties should be attached.
- This will assist the Regulator to understand the background issues and be in a position to engage the relevant parties and determine the appropriate remedy.
- All consumer related cases which ZERA would have mediated in and resolved every quarter will be published on the website.
- Should you feel you have been given a raw deal by an energy service provider, demand your right for quality services and quality products.