BAD NEWS: Zesa hikes electricity tariffs

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Zesa has pushed up electricity tariffs by 12,3 percent with effect from New Year’s Day which will see families on pre-paid meters buying 200 units a month now paying $1 265,11 including the six percent rural electrification levy, up from just under $1,127.

There are five bands of discounted tariffs before the full $14,31 a unit comes into effect on all purchases over 400 units, although consumers can only have the advantage of the discounts on their first purchase each month. Subsequent purchases are charged at the full price.

The first 50 units cost $2,38 cents each, before the rural levy. So the full 50 will cost a domestic consumer on a pre-paid meter $126,14 including the rural electrification levy.

The 50 units is considered the rock bottom a family needs for essential purposes and assumes that they do not heat water for washing with electricity.

The next 50 units are $4,77 each, before the levy, so a household buying 100 units a month will need to pay $378,95, including the levy, for the token. The next 100 units are $8,36 each, so the token for 200 units a month including the levy is $1 265,11. The next 100 units are $11,93 each, so a 300 unit monthly token is $2 529,69 including the levy. The next 100 units are $13,71 each, so a 400 unit monthly token is $3 982,95 including the levy. Each additional unit is $15,17 including the levy.

Domestic consumers on standard post-paid meters, a minority now, pay similar rates for each unit as they go up the steps but in addition have to pay a fixed monthly charge of $35,68.

The fixed charge covers the extra administration costs with a meter that is not pre-paid and at times the complications and costs of recovering a bad debt.

VAT is not charged on domestic supplies and the fixed charges on commercial and domestic consumers are zero-rated for VAT. But commercial users have to pay VAT of 14,5 percent on the energy or power they use.

There are a wide range of commercial tariffs, from small businesses to giant mines and a you move up the scales you pay more and more on your maximum power in the month, rather than on energy.

The 12,3 percent price rise comes under a previously authorised index system for tariffs, which allow automatic jumps at intervals.

Zesa pulled down, with warnings, its online payment platform on New Year’s Eve and presumably the new tariffs were fed in before the platform was brought back up early in the morning on New Year’s Day.

– Herald


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