Energy expert and Chairperson for Energy Forum Zambia Johnstone Chikwanda has urged power utility, ZESCO to consider submitting an application to Energy Regulation Board –ERB- on the removal of the subsidy which cushioned the cost of connections in line with the provisions of the law.
Mr Chikwanda understands that ZESCO was attempting to implement cost reflective tariffs on connection fees and meter separation charge because the prices of components which are used in connections have soared over the past years.
He says this has put ZESCO in a very difficult position as it is no longer able to connect customers in good time even when they have paid because the amount being paid by customers is not enough to carter for the services.
Mr Chikwanda explains this has resulted in a massive backlog of customers waiting to be connected despite having paid.
He has since appealed to the World Bank and other cooperating partners to extend and expand the financial support on connection subsidies under the Electricity Supply Access Programme –ESAP- which is aimed at World Bank subsidizing connection fees for targeted communities and under the Increased Access to Renewable Energy Programme –IREP- which is being implemented with European Union support.
Last week, Zesco announced the removal of subsidies on electricity connection fees which saw an upward adjustment from K1, 700 to k6, 995 for high-density undemarcated townships and meter separation fee’s from K750 to k6000 before the ERB nullified this decision days later.