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Frequently Asked Questions

Are we aware of the problem of electricity shortage facing Zimbabwe?

Most people are becoming more aware of the electricity shortage because of frequent
load-shedding outages.

What is the nature of the problem?

The demand for electricity outstrips available supply during the morning and evening periods.

Why in the morning and evening?

This is mainly due to the increase in the domestic load during these periods due to meal preparation, water heating, lighting and the switching on of appliances such as TVs, radios, computers, fans, heaters, etc. When demand exceeds supply, some customers have to be switched off or shed to balance supply and demand.

Zimbabwe is one of those countries whose supply of electricity is insufficient to meet demand. 35% of the national power requirement is imported from neighbouring countries.

Why do we have the Power Shortage?

  1. Capital investment in the energy sector has not been keeping pace with the growth in demand over the years because of lack of funds.
  2. Existing electricity generating plants are not being used to full capacity because of the following reasons:

2.1 Breakdowns – equipment is ageing and lacks adequate maintenance.  Foreign currency shortages and low tariff charges have made maintenance very difficult.

2.2 Shortage of coal.

2.3 Droughts – the low water levels at Kariba dam mean less output from the hydro-power station.

Where would we want to be?

A situation where there is a reliable and secure electricity supply at the right price.

What are the Possible solutions to the power shortage problem?

(a) Medium to Long Term Solutions

New capital investments in the Energy Sector are required in order to increase
generation capacity.  These are as follows:-

Project Title

Estimated Cost (US$)

Implementation Time Frame

i) Hwange Stage 3: 2 x 300MW

600 million

3 – 4 years

ii) Kariba South Extension 2x150MW

300 million

4 – 5 years

iii) Gokwe North 2 x 350 MW

1 400 million

5 – 6 years

iv) Batoka Gorge 4 x 200 MW

1 350 million

5 – 6 years

v) Lupane Gas 2 x 150 MW

300 million

2 – 3 years

(b) Short Term Solutions

  1. This entails the improvement of the output of thermal power stations, which are currently operating well below their design capacities due to lack of maintenance and lack of coal.  This would require approximately US$35 million and takes up to 18 months to complete the machine overhauls.
  2. Reducing demand without compromising on production and quality.  This can be achieved through energy efficiency (EE) improvement and demand side
    management (DSM) programmes.
  • Energy Efficiency Improvement

This entails a sustained decrease in the amount of energy consumed per unit of industrial production without compromising the quantity and quality.  Besides conserving energy efficiency improvement results in cost competitiveness of our products and services.

  • Demand Side Management

Demand side management is a process whereby an electricity supplier influences the way electricity is used by customers resulting in customer bill reduction and release of additional capacity for to meet requirements of all customers. 

The actions which customers can take include:-

  1. Prepare meals early before the evening peak period, which starts at about 5pm.
  2. The major energy consuming appliances in the home are the geyser and the electric stove.
  3. Match pots and pans with the stove plates and ensure that they are covered.
  4. Switch off the stove at least five minutes before the food is cooked.
  5. Never use the stove or grill to warm the house.
  6. Ensure the geyser thermostat is set below 550C.  Switch off the geyser when going away.
  7. Reduce the amount of water in the bathtub or shower.
  8. Defrost food at room temperature instead of the oven.
  9. Do not open the fridge doors unnecessary.
  10. When using an electric kettle to boil water, it is advisable to boil only what is needed provided the element is covered.  It is quicker and cheaper to boil water in an electric kettle than in a pot on the stove.
  11. For those who can afford them, pressure cookers and microwave ovens reduce the period of cooking considerably and hence reduce the consumption of electricity.
  12. Use low energy lamps.  They cost more but use 80% less energy and last more than 6 times longer than ordinary filament lamps.
  13. Turn off lights when you leave a room.If you are going away consider buying timers to turn your lights on instead of leaving them on 24 hours a day.
  14. Over 70% of the cost of washing a load is in heating the water so use cold water as often as possible.
  15. Filtering is a major expense of owning a swimming pool.  An average pool requires about 4-6 hours of filtering per day in summer and 3-4 hours in winter so do not filter more than you have to.

What has the Utility done to date?

1. Medium to Long Term Projects:

MOU’s and feasibility studies are now in place.  However, the development of the project
hinges on the raising of the requisite foreign currency down payments and the
implementation of Cost Reflective Tariffs in order to attract investment.

2. Short to Medium Term Projects

a) Financing for the rehabilitation of Hwange Power Station has been secured.

b) The resuscitation of the small thermal power stations is underway.

c) Imports for 2007 have been secured though some of them are non-firm.  This will continue until there is adequate capacity.

d) DSM & Energy Efficiency

A Demand Side Management and Energy Efficiency Campaign in the public media and at various shows and exhibitions is ongoing since its launch at all Stakeholder DSM and Energy Efficiency Symposium of November 2005.  some symposium recommendations include:-

  • Creation of a DSM fund.
  • Design of a school course curricula for DSM & EE.
  • Award for the Best Performing Company in Energy Efficiency.
  • Scrapping of import duty on Energy Efficiency equipment and products.
  • National Status for DSM & Energy Efficiency projects.
  • Incentives to local manufacturers of DSM and EE products.
The implementation of the recommendations is being pursued.
Further action taken by the Utility is as follows:-
  • DSM & Energy Efficiency supporting tariff was designed and presented to the regulator ZERC.
  • Water Heating

Water heating accounts for about 39% of domestic load.  Ripple Control
Systems to control domestic water heaters were installed in Harare and
Bulawayo to switch off the geysers during the evening peak.     
This system does not affect the normal use of hot water in households.  The system is thus a virtual power station during the evening peak.  The system has a potential of shedding 270 MW if extended to new houses and other towns.  This extension requires about US$13 million.

  • Interruptible Customers

The Company has entered into contracts with large power users who are called upon to reduce their power demand during periods of power shortfalls.

  • Management of Technical and Non-technical losses.

Statistical Metering has been installed at borders between transmission and distribution system in order to monitor losses and take corrective measures.

Expected Outputs of Implementing Short Term Measures:

  1. Easing of load shedding.
  2. Sustained decrease in industrial energy intensity of production.
  3. Reduction of power import bill.
  4. Flattening of demand curve.
  5. A higher level of responsibility all stakeholders.

The Way Forward

The Company will continue to pursue Demand Side Management & Energy Efficiency projects in water heating, lighting and cooling among other measures as follows:

Water Heating

  1. The ripple Control System will be extended to other major cities &and towns.
  2. All new houses with geysers will be put on the ripple control system.
  3. The installation of solar water heaters will be promoted.


There is an estimated 5,670,000 incandescent lamps installed in the country amounting to an installed capacity of 340MW.  The national lighting load can be reduced to 62 MW through the use of energy saving lights. These energy savers use only 20% of the conventional lamp energy for the same light output and last up to six times longer.  The savings would translate to about US2million per month on the import bill. The project cost is estimated at US$15 million.


  1. The ripple Control System will be extended to air conditioning plant.


More in this category: Load Shedding Details »


Do you have energy saver bulbs in your house?

Yes - 76.9%
NO - 23.1%
What is an energy saver bulb? - 0%

Total votes: 26
The voting for this poll has ended on: 13 Jan 2013 - 10:21

Load Shedding Status



Power Generation Stats

Gen Station

27 September 2017


506 MW

Kariba 716 MW

   0 MW

Munyati 16 MW

12 MW

Imports   0-450 MW


1580 MW

Comparative Average Tariffs

  • Global Tariffs
Click here
  • Regional Tariffs

US14c kWh

  • Zimbabwe Tarriffs

US9.83c kWh

Contact Details

+263 4 773302/04-10,
+263 4 773314/16/18/19/24/28-31/34,
+263 4 774491/96/98-9

Fax:+263 4 774542/3
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Address:     Electricity Centre
                       25 Samora Machel Ave

ZESA HOLDINGS Private Limited © 2013

Developed By Total IT Solutions Zimbabwe


Load Shedding Status



Power Generation Stats

Gen Station

27 September 2017


506 MW

Kariba 716 MW

   0 MW

Munyati 16 MW

12 MW

Imports   0-450 MW


1580 MW


Major Power Faults










ZESA Holdings would like to advise its valued customers countrywide of the reduction in generation at Kariba Power Station due to depleted dam water levels, commencing on Tuesday 1st September 2015 at 1800hrs, in compliance with the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) requirement to scale down on water consumption.


Generation will consequently be reduced from the normal 750MW to 475MW until dam levels have risen to the requisite levels.


During this period, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) will take full advantage of the reduction of Units in service at Kariba to undertake the annual statutory maintenance, scheduled to be conducted between the 1st of September 2015 and 28 January 2016.


Whilst generation at thermal power stations is not affected by hydrological issues, Units at Hwange Power Station will also undergo statutory maintenance which will be completed by 7 October 2015, to ensure greater safety and reliability going forward.


The power utility further advises customers that the planned annual maintenance of Hwange and the reduction in water levels at Kariba dam will lead to changes being effected to the previously publicized load shedding schedule.


Consumers will experience suppressed power supplies until generation is brought back to normal levels.


Although the effects of load shedding will be minimized with possible power imports where available, ZESA Holdings urges consumers to use the available power very sparingly to minimize the extent and duration of load shedding.


ZESA Holdings sincerely apologises for the unavoidable inconvenience caused.