Inefficient lighting ban to save 40MW

Inefficient lighting ban to save 40MW

Eng. Tanda Chisi (centre) explains the use of the light bulbs testing kit

The country can save up to 40MW and foreign currency if consumers switch from incandescent to energy saver bulbs.

Zimbabwe’s depressed local generation is compelling the power utility to import power from Eskom of South Africa and Hydro Cabora Bassa of Mozambique to meet local demand.

Speaking at a recently held stakeholder engagement held in Bulawayo to discuss the implementation of Statutory Instrument 21 of 2017, ZERA CEO Eng. Gloria Magombo pointed out: “Even if incandescent bulbs are given for free, they are still expensive to the consumer and they waste the electricity. The bulbs generate 95% heat and only 5% light. Consumers should not buy or accept incandescent bulbs” said Magombo.

Zimbabwe joins other countries in the southern African region who banned the importation, manufacturing and use of incandescent bulbs.

Under SI 21 of 2017, importers, wholesalers and retailers were given up to three months to clear their stock from January to April 2017. The regulation came into force on 1 May 2017.  Hording, importation or retailing of the energy inefficient lighting products is now an offense in Zimbabwe.

ZERA engaged Bureau Veritas to monitor and assess all imported lighting products destined for Zimbabwe to ensure conformity to specifications.

ZERA’s Senior Electricity Engineer, Samuel Zaranyika, highlighted the need to comply with specifications stated in the regulations.

ZERA has invested in light bulb testing kits which will be used to assess light bulb parameters such as wattage and power factor against the labels.

Zaranyika said there were some products in the market which were misleading consumers.

“We have noted that some of the bulbs in the market are labelled as 7 watts yet upon testing they are actually 2 watts or less” he said.

“Such misleading labelling is a criminal offence. ZERA will conduct series of inspections on wholesalers and retailers and seize, confiscate and lay charges against such operators”.

ZERA is conducting series of engagement in all the provinces as part of raising awareness of SI 21 of 2017.

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