Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

Government Announces Fuel Price Increases

Following a request by the Finance Minister, the prices of diesel and petrol have gone up this week. Zimbabwe’s energy authorities the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) announced the new recommended prices with petrol now selling at $1.38 per litre and diesel $1.34. The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority advises that in terms of the Statutory Instrument […]

Here Is How China Plans To Reduce The Annual Electricity Bill : Artificial Moon Launch

The Chinese City of  Chengdu will soon be getting some fancy lighting at night, as the Tian Fu New Area Science Society scientists aim to launch an artificial moon by 2020. The moon will orbit above Chengdu,  a capital of Sichuan province in China. The artificial moon will compliment the natural moon and is assumed to […]

ZESA, Not EcoCash , Raised The Minimum Price Of Their Tokens From $2 To $10

Yesterday, ZESA managed to restore the service for purchasing electricity tokens via EcoCash but this came with the surprise announcement that the minimum tokens you could buy using EcoCash had risen from $2 to $10. This came as a blow to many, especially considering that there has been widespread complaints about increasing prices across the […]

ZESA Has Lost Almost 100 Transformers To Vandals and Thieves Since The Beginning Of 2018

If you’re a regular reader of the Techzim blog, you’ll probably remember when we talked about ZETDC (Zimbabwe Electricty Transmission and Distribution Company) calling for people tampering with electricity meters to turn themselves in by the 31st of August. It seems that vandalism and theft has had a far greater than one might first think […]

ZETDC Advises Customers To Buy ZESA Tokens At “Vending Outlets” As System Challenges Are Not Yet Resolved

Purchasing ZESA tokens over the last few weeks has not been a walk in the park for many and it seems ZETDC is still facing challenges, particularly if your payment method of choice is EcoCash. From a statement released earlier this week it’s clear that the issue seems to lie with ZETDC’s servers. In the […]

ZESA System Down Until Further Notice, Don’t Buy Tokens Until The Issues Are Resolved

Since as far back as Friday, customers have been having problems buying ZESA (electricity) tokens. Regardless of the platform, it seems buying a token is not possible right now. Internally, a colleague initially tried to purchase their electricity using EcoCash as far back as Monday but his attempts were futile. Yesterday, he resorted to buying […]

ZETDC Tells People Tampering With Electricity Meters To Turn Themselves In By The 31st Of This Month Or Else…

With reports of people tampering with electricity meters on the rise, Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission & Distribution Company has issued a statement calling on all ‘offenders’ to turn themselves in. The warning comes with some stern consequences and the public is informed that tampering with your meter could result in a 10 year jail sentence. You […]

ZESA Launches A Portal To Help Users Check Their ZESA Tokens Online

Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company has now added a section on their website to help users to check their most recently purchased electricity tokens online. What’s the point? If you’re wondering what the point of such a service is then you’ve probably never been exposed to the anxiety caused by failing to receive a […]

SA Government Creates App To Inform Consumers How Much Electricity Appliances Use

SA’s department of energy has launched an application that will help consumers make informed purchase decisions when it comes to electrical appliances. How does it work? The application known as the Appliance Energy Calculator allows to enter information regarding certain electrical appliance (which is usually on the energy label on the appliance). Once entered the […]

Econet Going Green: Licence To Construct Solar Power Plant Approved

Econet Wireless’ plans to have their data centre run on solar energy are well documented and in January they applied for a licence to build a 0.45MW power plant for their own use. That application has been accepted by ZERA, so I guess Econet will be going ahead with their plan as intended. The media […]

Distributed Power Africa: Econet Makes A Huge Investment In Energy

Marred by persistent power cuts and inaccessible Zesa power lines in some locations, Econet has resorted to make a huge investment in energy to power its energy hungry operations. Their aim is to power its data centers which require a lot of energy consumption. But this is not an ordinary investment in energy With the […]

A local firm invents a ‘self-charging’ battery. Could this be the future for Zimbabwe?

We bumped into something interesting on LinkedIn. You know Cybercard Enterprise Solutions (CyberBiz) right? If not then you should know its CEO at least. We last wrote about it in 2015 though, right about the time when ZIMURA had partnered Econet and had brought them (Cybercard) and Logical Systems on board to try and curb music […]

Victoria Falls to install 100 solar powered street-lights… why is it taking us so long to go solar???

I don’t know about your area, but we’ve had a considerable number of power cuts this week due to ZESA’s load shedding. As cash and foreign currency continues to be a problem, it is expected for companies like ZESA to be affected (see 2008). The Victoria Falls Municipality has foreseen this and as such have […]

Can the Total Card help you budget? Yes. Here’s how…

Even in these hard times, I’m sure you can all agree with me that the temptation to live beyond our means continues to get the best of us. Well, what’s interesting is that there are some service providers who still strive to ensure that they give us some form of competitive advantage over such life […]

From human poop to odourless, clean cooking fuel in Kenya. This could reduce your gas and ZESA bills.

Living in a city it is sometimes easy to forget that the majority of Zimbabweans do not have access to electricity. In fact as of 2014, 67.7% of Zimbabweans had no access to electricity. That’s a majority by any measure. The waste management situation is no better too. Even in the cities where there is […]

GOING SOLAR: Combining the equipment

As we suggested last week, in this installment of GOING SOLAR we are going to summarize and combine all we have learnt so far and design a simple solar power system for an average sized home. Determine the demand and energy consumption The first thing to do is list what we want to power (the […]

ZESA increases debt recovery rates on prepaid meters & tightens screws on defaulters to avoid load shedding

ZETDC, a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe’s power utility concern ZESA, has announced that starting from the 1st of September 2016 it will be increasing the debt recovery rate from 40% to 50% on all domestic accounts in arrears that are using prepaid electricity meters .

No power increases in Zimbabwe as regulator turns down ZESA’s application for tariff increase

The energy regulator, ZERA (Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority), has rejected an application made by companies under the national power utility ZESA Holdings for a tariff increase.

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

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.

Design considerations for utility solar farms in Zimbabwe

The picture shows a simplified utility solar farm that consists of a single grid-tied solar PV (photovoltaic) inverter connected to a transformer that is connected to the national electric grid. Each solar inverter is connected to thousands of solar PV panels. According to recent media reports, some progress has been made on the long-awaited Gwanda […]

Econet responds to market forces, reduces price on its Home Power Station, again

Earlier today the operator announced, on social media, a clearance sale for the HPS which will see the price being reduced by $50 to $49. The offer is valid while stocks last and it becomes the third price reduction for the Power Station since it was first introduced by Econet in 2012.

Looking for a ZESA & LP Gas alternative? Try this solar stove

On the solar energy tip, other users are looking beyond lights and geysers. An example of that is the solar stove we came across in Harare. It’s being sold by a local trader, Solomon Marimo, who says he identified this type of solar stove in South Africa and has been trying to create a local distribution line.

Guilty as charged – Powertel violated tender procedures in prepaid electricity deal

Powertel, the state-owned internet access provider and subsidiary of national power utility firm ZESA Holdings, has reportedly been found guilty of failing to follow proper tender procedures when it appointed local software development outfit E-solutions, as the aggregators of the sale of prepaid electricity. becomes latest facility for buying prepaid ZESA using EcoCash

Pre-paid allows users to send there ZESA account details, the amount they wish to buy and their phone number through an online interface. This is followed by a prompt for payment through EcoCash or Telecash via SMS. You can make transactions of between $2 and $490.

Waiting for the rains

In the meantime, just take my advice, go buy yourself a generator or a solar system because even if the rain comes this problem is only going to get worse.

Let’s blame ZESA & Govt, but the “banned geyser” isn’t such a bad idea

The move by the government to start banning the use of geysers has been roundly criticised as a defensive strategy to solve a problem that needs something more proactive. However, there are some benefits that it could bring that people should consider.

3 ways ZESA can build its own virtual power station, without Dangote

Before any well-planned investments in thermal energy come to fruition, we have to manage what little power we have. Any huge savings on electricity can then be extended to other sectors of the economy and all that power is enough to be termed a virtual power station on its own.

Here’s why most LP Gas retailers are operating illegally

Most LP Gas resellers have not gone through the process of applying for a retail licence and are operating hazardously in undesignated spots. From corruption to complicated licensing, here are some of the reasons why this situation is prevalent.

Rural Electrification Agency offering free solar and biogas quotations

The Rural Electrification Agency is offering free quotations and education for aspiring biogas and solar users. This is part of an effort to lower the burden on the national power grid.

Econet reduces the price of its Home Power Station to $99

Econet has lowered the price of the current model of the ZESA Busting Home Power Station from its current price of $163 to $99. A $64 discount on any item deserves some notice, but also raises questions.