A+ A A-

Prepaid Meters (FAQ)

The Ministry of Energy and Power Development has successfully launched the prepaid metering technology that is replacing the conventional billing system that had been posing challenges to the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), a subsidiary of ZESA Holdings. ZETDC has already installed 19 000 prepaid meters countrywide, with a further 19 000 expected to be installed by end of September 2012. The whole installation programme with be completed in ten months.

The following frequently asked answer consumer queries and concerns:

Q1. Is conversion from post paid to prepaid optional or compulsory?

A. It is compulsory, ZETDC has made a decision to change metering technology and all

meters in the domestic and small  institutions will be converted to prepaid.

Q2. What are  customers expected to do with the outstanding bills for electricity consumed

during the time they were on post paid metering after conversion to prepaid metering

  1. There are two options, either they clear the outstanding bill before conversion or their debt  is

transferred to the prepayment account.

The other option is that the previous debt will be transferred to the prepayment meter. The arrears collection facility in the system allows the customer to settle his/her debt. Each time the customer purchases power, 20% of their purchase account is automatically deducted until the debt is  cleared.

Q3. Where can credit for prepaid meters be purchased?

A. Currently credit vending points are in selected ZETDC offices in Harare and Bulawayo. Plans are  underway to appoint third party vending platforms. When the system is eventually rolled  out throughout the country, customers will be able to purchase electricity tokens from supermarkets, petrol service stations, banks etc in the same manner they buy their cellular phone airtime.

Q4. Is conversion to prepaid a solution to the problem of long queues that we

normally encounter when paying bills?

  1. Yes, the introduction of multiple distribution channels (third party vending) will definitely resolve the problem of long queues. Customers will have the freedom to purchase their electricity tokens from other approved third party vendors, thereby decongesting ZETDC banking halls.

Q5. Currently some of the meters are installed outside the house. Are there plans to move theses meters inside houses or customers will be expected to go out to load credit or check balance in the meter?

  1. The meters being installed are split PLC meters with a Customer Interface Unit (CIU), which the customers will use to load credit and check credit balances. The CIU is plugged on a socket outlet inside the house.

Q6. Is there any easy guide for prepaid meters to assist customers understand the prepaid meter?

  1. Yes, every customer will get an easy guide after installation of a prepayment meter. The easy guide is simplified but if there are challenges, customers are advised to contact their nearest ZETDC Customer Service Center.

Q7. What are the advantages of prepayment meters over post paid meters?

Prepaid metering is the best option since you pay for the units you need. You don't have to worry about re-connection fees like in the case of the post paid meters. You just need to top up and you are done. Customers do not also have to worry about the issue of bills and meter reading every month and above all, they will have freedom to manage their consumption and amount spent every month. With post paid systems, customers do experience cash-flow problems, especially where the use of payment cycle of billed systems was averaging more than 30 days. Prepayment manages the customer’s consumption as it provides automatic credit control.

Q8. Are prepayments meters going to be installed throughout the country, if that is the case where do customers in areas where there are no ZETDC offices such as rural areas and farms purchase credit?

The pre-payment metering project is nationwide in scope and very soon it will cover the breadth of the entire country. Currently, the system is being deployed in Harare and Bulawayo. Other areas that will soon be coming on stream are Chitungwiza ,Gweru, Marondera, Kwekwe, Mutare, Masvingo, Chinhoyi, Bindura and Kadoma due to their proximity to compatible communication systems. When the system is fully operational, third party vending platforms will be deployed to rural businesses and growth points for the benefit of rural customers

Q9. . Is there any set limit for purchase of electricity credit for prepaid meters?

A. The minimum denominations for purchase of tokens have been set at $5 but customers can purchase as many tokens as they want.

Q10. . Is there any set limit on the amount of credit the meter can accept?

There is no upper limit on the amount of electricity one can purchase

Q11. How can I get a prepayment meter?

  1. ZETDC is currently in the process of installing prepaid meters to all domestic and small business enetities. The project is scheduled to be completed within 10months. ZETDC will also be distributing notifications fliers to customers to announce the imminence of the project within customers’ neighourhood.

Q12. What happens if the price of power from ZETDC changes?

A. The cost of a unit (kWh) of electricity will be purchased at the prevailing rate but

tokens already purchased will not be affected by the change in tariffs.

Q13. Can I get my money back out of my meter account?

  1. No, It is the customers' responsibility to manage the balance in the meter. If customers know they will be moving out soon, they should buy enough credit to last them until the expiry of their change of tenancy.

Q14. What should I do if I lose the credit token before entering credit into meter?

  1. Report to your nearest ZETDC Customer Service Centre and get a duplicate token. There will be a nominal fee for the production of a duplicate token.

Q15. Who is responsible for the replacement of damaged Customer Interface Unit (CIU)?

  1. A. Replacement of CIU is the customer's responsibility. The CIU would be replaced at nominal cost of $60.

Q16. How accurate are the prepaid meters compared to post paid meters?

  1. The prepaid meters are very accurate and in any case, it is mandatory that all meters are tested before installation.

Q17. Will I still be getting a bill when I have a prepayment meter?

A. The moment we install prepaid meters, customers will receive a final bill and thereafter no bills will be sent to the customer.

Q18. Should I change my lease agreement if I put in a pre-paid meter?

A. We suggest that you do and recommend that you put in the relevant clauses pertaining to the supply and consumption of  electricity (Consult ZETDC for advice).

Q19. In the case of a shared meter with more than one family sharing the same meter, what is the recommended practice when converted to prepaid metering.

  1. If the wiring is separable, it is recommended that customers apply for separation of meters from ZETDC. In such cases where wiring is inseparable, customers have to agree on the best way to administer expenses incurred through prepayment metering system.

Q20. What happens if I go away and I run out of credit?

  1. We suggest that if you are going away, you should make sure that you have recharged your meter with enough credit to last that duration of the time you are going away. For longer periods,  it is essential that you turn off and unplug appliances, thus minimising any usage. You will still need to ensure that you have sufficient credit to keep your meter going for anything that you can’t turn off, for example alarm, gate, and pool.

Q21. Will we continue to be load shed after conversion to prepayment metering?

A. Load shedding is done when demand exceeds supply and if the supply situation has not improved, customers will continue to experience load shedding even after conversion to prepaid. However, prepayment metering will reduce the frequency of load shedding due to the following reasons:

- With prepaid meters, customers will manage their demand and consumption closely

thereby reducing the total demand imposed on  the ZETDC system.

-  Prepaid metering will improve cash flow for ZETDC and enable it to pay for power purchases

- With prepaid meters all customers will consume what they have paid for

More in this category: « Why do we have load shedding?

Questionnare

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

    Minimal
    Light

 
  Moderate
    Heavy
    Severe

Power Generation Stats

Gen Station

05 June 2017

Energy
(Megawatts)
Hwange

546 MW

Kariba 694 MW
Harare

0     MW

Munyati 0     MW
Bulawayo 

0     MW

Imports   0-350 MW
Total

 

1620MW

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
                       Harare

ZESA HOLDINGS Private Limited © 2013

Developed By Total IT Solutions Zimbabwe

Close

Load Shedding Status

    Minimal
    Light

 
  Moderate
    Heavy
    Severe

Power Generation Stats

Gen Station

05 June 2017

Energy
(Megawatts)
Hwange

546 MW

Kariba 694 MW
Harare

0     MW

Munyati 0     MW
Bulawayo 

0     MW

Imports   0-350 MW
Total

 

1620MW

Close

Major Power Faults

 

 

 

ZESA HOLDINGS (PVT) LTD

 

 

 

POWER SUPPLY UPDATE

 

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.