THE Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has approved new electricity connection tariffs for Zesco at a 70 to 30 per cent cost sharing mechanism between the consumer and the power utility.
Speaking to journalists in Lusaka yesterday, ERB Board Chairperson Reynolds Bowa said the cost sharing mechanism was meant to make connection charges affordable to low income households.
He said the minimum pay a consumer would make was K3,510 for single overhead connection, from the current K769 and against Zesco’s proposed K4,655.
Mr Bowa said upgrading a single overhead to third phase would go up to K6,660, from K1,137 and against Zesco’s proposed K12,997.
He said under low density, upgrading a single overhead to third phase would now cost K7,441 from K1,979 and away from Zesco’s proposed K12,997.
Mr Bowa said single phase overhead for high density un-demarcated areas would cost K4,846 from the current K1,709 and against Zesco’s proposed K6,930, while upgrading a single phased overhead to third phased overhead in the same bracket would cost K11,120, from the current K1,558 and against Zesco’s 15,227.
“Zesco is directed to implement the ERB approved charges commencing January 1, 2023. ERB has directed Zesco to implement payment options that would allow customers to pay connection fees over a one year period,” he said.
Mr Bowa said customers who would pay at least 50 per cent of the charges would be connected promptly as though they had made full payment.
He said customers still had an option for a one-off payment to be connected within a stipulated timeframe of one month.
Mr Bowa said the regulator however rejected Zesco’s proposal for automatic adjustments of connection charges based on changes in the cost of connection materials.
He said Zesco should also give customers options of buying their own materials for connection or directly engage a Zesco approved contractor.
Mr Bowa said it was expected that the adjustments would help the regulator reduce the connection backlog of 69,000 customers as at the end of 2021.