Local power company ZESA anticipates annual savings of $120 million through smart meters

Nigel Gambanga Avatar

Local power utility company ZESA expects to save up to $120 million a year once it has completed its national smart meter project.

According to a report in The Sunday Mail, ZESA, through its subsidiary ZETDC has so far installed 568,554 prepaid meters and 38,550 smart meters and has met its targets for the current phase of meter rollout. It has set a target of 800,000 prepaid meters and 140,000 meters by 2018.

Smart meters, unlike the standard prepaid meters, are equipped with a Meter Data Management System and allow the utility company to communicate with the user’s unit. This allows for remote management of accounts.

Zimbabwe adopted prepaid metering as a way of dealing with the challenges of bill collection which deprived the power utility of over $1 billion in revenue which is essential for the management of local facilities and the importation of electricity from neighbouring countries like South Africa.


  1. G

    the words ZESA & company in the same sentence

  2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    I think it’s silly to count on savings from giving pre-paid meters to people who already made the effort to pay their bills, yet those with a poor track record of paying up are still on post-paid meters. The worst customers should be the first to get smart/pre-paid meters. It’s similar to what Zinwa did in Bluffhill, installing smart water meters, yet there’s no water coming from the taps.

    What smart management features come with smart meters, that we the consumers will benefit from? Zesa doesn’t need remote account management because they are prepaid accounts. Isn’t this just another case of greasy palms trying to replace standard meters with new “smart” meters, so that the gravy train keeps on moving. Next we’ll hear that there are “Super smart” meters being rolled out in 2017, to the replace the not so smart predecessors. Pasi ne dhora mubhegi mentality…

    1. Macd Chip

      ” Zesa doesn’t need remote account management because they are prepaid accounts..”

      They actually do need that. A account can be anything, it can be a person, it can be the smart meter itself or it can be the control unit unit for smart meters in a street or town.

      You want to monitor the meter remotely to make sure that there is no tampering being done to the meter or check that its not fault and working as expected.
      That can only be done if there is a unique way of identifying the meter ie account.

      1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

        Remote device management is what you are talking about. Your device is not your account, in as much as you believe an account can be anything. Don’t speculate, state facts.

      2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

        Remote account management, in a post-paid scenario, would be used to shut-off your power when your account is overdue, and switch it back on when you have paid up. It’s similar to what DSTV does, when they send a “signal” to re-activate your decoder if you had been cut-off. ZESA wouldn’t need to send a person to switch of your power and put a “tamper-detection” sticker on the switch-box. And later have another person come again, just to remove the sticker. But since it’s prepaid, that function is not useful.

        1. Macd Chip

          I still believe and know its useful, a remote account management system which manages an account, it can be a number on the terminal(serial number) itself or your name and house number if its registered in your name.

          l have been using one since 2001, so l know exactly what lm on about and its not anything similar to DSTV….

          1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

            They remotely manage what exactly and to what benefit as compared to “dumb” regular meters? Please explain. The issue is not about what an account can be.

    2. Anonymous

      Smart meters are different from the other meters in that ,ZESA instead of switching off power to the whole household during load shedding they can switch off Geysers & Stoves remotely and liv other appliances working ,,,,your lights…..television etc

      1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

        Aren’t prepaid meters, smart or otherwise, being to put to make load shedding a thing of the past? Besides, most of us using prepaid don’t leave our geysers on all day. Anyway, the capacity to switch of geysers was available in some areas, long before prepaid meters came. In Msasa for example, Zesa installed a unit of sorts (I don’t know what it’s called) in households where they could switch of geysers remotely for certain time periods of the day. I’m sure the same units could work on the existing cheaper prepaid meter setups.

  3. Anonymous

    2018 without Electricity mmmm that’s too bad …… new customers waiting for 2 years to get connected these guys need to up their act of doing business. its even more than 2 years because they have not installed meters in a year now.

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