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Your Zesa Charge Will Not Be Cheaper If You Pay At The Beginning Of The Month

Zesa’s systems were overloaded yesterday because there was some confusion surrounding the Lifeline Charge.

What is the Lifeline Charge?

“ZETDC further advises customers that the lifeline tariff is enjoyed once a month when they make the first token purchase of units ANY DAY during any calendar month, therefore it is not true that electricity is cheaper when purchases are done within the first five days of the month.”

ZETDC Official Statement

The Lifeline Charge covers the FIRST 50 Units purchased at ANYTIME during the month. This a way of ensuring that those less privileged will have electricity, because 50 Units are enough (according to ZESA) to cover a 2 plate stove and lights.

This stampede for tokens overwhelmed ZESA and some people were left stranded with no electricity because no purchase platform was able to get through the sea of requests.

The Charges for Domestic Meters that affect March 2020 onwards are as follows: (full ZESA price list as of March 2020)

A Fixed Charge of ZWL7.24

The 50 kWh of the FIRST Purchase of a new month are – ZWL$0.49 per unit

51 – 200 kWh are priced at -ZWL$1.08 per unit

Balance of ZWL$4.61 per kWh over 200

This stepped system is all in an effort to ensure that those who use power conservatively will pay less for electricity and those who exceed the 200 kWh for domestic use will pay a premium.

We should endeavour to save power where we can, in order to stop repeated purchases that increase the cost of electricity.


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10 thoughts on “Your Zesa Charge Will Not Be Cheaper If You Pay At The Beginning Of The Month

  1. The stepped tariff has failed – ZESA’s solution isn’t working. Nobody can last a full month on the lifeline tariff, it may be calculated for one household, yes, but more than one household share a single meter in most places, so when those lifeline units get exhausted people will only buy JUST enough units to last the rest of the month. Why buy more? Especially knowing that when the calendar changes there are cheaper units available. It’s not about people thinking that electricity is only cheaper at the start of the month – people actually don’t have ANY MORE UNITS coz they’ve made sure they don’t buy excess expensive units that’s all. People are only doing what any logical person will do – why buy 30 days worth of the EXPENSIVE units on the 20th of the month? You buy 10 days worth, just enough to last until you are eligible for lifeline next month. The cycle will continue till they figure out a better solution, you can’t blame the people here.

    1. Indeed, the system itself paired with the economic situation hasn’t done enough. The 50 kWh allocation for lifeline probably needs to be expanded or a new system altogether. The baseline they set is insufficient as you said the model of one household one meter situation isn’t the case everywhere. Usage varies and you can’t expect someone you have given a space to rent for example to always be conscientious about power. I agree that the temptation, no, the reality is to wait till the next month even if you no longer have any units left. The intent wasn’t to blame the people but to say that we should conserve where we can, to notify those who share a meter with to be aware that the system has errors, and we should do our best to keep what we have when we have it. It was also to describe the system, The Ministry of health put out a video when it launched this stepp system but i was reading a lot of confusion about it on social media and thought it needed to be talked about a little more. The structural issues of the electrical infrastructure and policy will be its own piece that will get a proper deep dive. Thank you for your comment.

    2. THAT’S IT SIMPLE LOGIC AND UNDERSTANDING…NO NEED TO CHAIR FOR SUCH SIMPLISTIC LOGIC. ZESA BOARD SHOULD CHAIR TO QUESTION HOW THE LIFELINE 200 UNITS WHERE CALCULATED, I GUESS THIS WAS NEVER PRACTICALLY AND REALISTICALLY AVERAGED TAKING A SINGLE FAMILY WITH A TRIPLE STORY PLUS A COTTAGE USING ONE METER AND THE OTHER MINIMUM FAMILY HOUSE USAGE.

      1. They didnt factor in a lot, the size and scale of a home, number of seperate families that may share one meter, power demands of various appliances etc. the lifeline needs expansion or they can rethink the system altogether.

  2. What now happens to those who have had money deducted from their bank account but no token issues. Self service site still down

  3. i live in a 2 bedroom house nothing fancy fridge dont even use zesa stove i use gas. 1 geyser chete lights off during day that lifetime tariff of what 200/300units doesnt last a full month , so of course on the 1st im gonna buy more. also who can afford to buy 1000’s of dollars of zesa to last till after the 1st of the next month.

    1. True, the Lifeline Charge will have to be expanded, I don’t think the calculation they used comes anywhere near what is actually needed.

  4. People at ZESA are missing the point here. It’s not that people think that tokens are cheaper during the first 5 days of the month. People buy the 200kWh at the beginning of the month and once these are exhausted, some buy the lifeline 50kWh to see the month through and the majority will find alternatives for cooking and ironing and save a little for lighting until the month ends. Once we are in the new month, everyone rushes to buythe 200kWh since they will have exhausted the previous units long before the end of the previous month. This points to the fact that people cannot align with the current tariff system.

    1. The Step tariff system has major problems and when The Ministry of Energy released the video explaining why 50kWh was sufficient they didnt give us any further explanation or a demonstration. The Step system needs revision of maybe an expansion of the 50 kWh Lifeline or a new way altogether.

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