Recently I did an article in which I cited that ZETDC was considering a tariffs hike. Well, it is now official; the tariffs have been reviewed upwards effective 26 May 2021. This is actually interesting and I will tell you why later on in the article. ZETDC recently issued a circular reading as follows:

Notice To All Our Valued Customers

New Domestic Prepayment Tariff

The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company would like to advise its valued customers that electricity tariffs have been adjusted upwards by 30 per cent, effective 26th May 2021. The increase is based on the outstanding indexation for the year 2020. The new domestic prepayment tariffs are shown in the table below:

Domestic Prepayment Tariff
Consumption BandPrice (ZWL$/kWh)

(inclusive of levies)

0 – 50 kWh2.25
51 – 100 kWh4.51
101 – 200 kWh7.89
201 – 300 kWh11.26
301 – 400 kWh12.94
401 kWh and above13.50

Some Comparisons

Cost Per Unit Or kWh

Domestic Prepayment Tariff
Consumption BandNewOld
0 – 50 kWh2.251.63
51 – 100 kWh4.513.27
101 – 200 kWh7.895.72
201 – 300 kWh11.268.17
301 – 400 kWh12.949.39
401 kWh and above13.509.80

Cost Of Units Per Consumption Band

Domestic Prepayment Tariff
Consumption BandNewOld
0 – 50 kWh112.5081.50
51 – 100 kWh225.50163.50
101 – 200 kWh789572
201 – 300 kWh1126817
301 – 400 kWh1294939
401 kWh and above  

Cost Of The First…Units

The First…New Old
50 Units112.5081.50
100 Units338245
200 Units1127817
300 Units22531634
400 Units35472573

Let Us Discuss

So yeah, the upward review is roughly 30 per cent as can be seen from the comparisons. Out of curiosity, I decided to figure out how the price per unit in US dollars. Of course, rates vary from place to place so I will just use an example from where I stay. I will also use parallel market rates because well, it is what it is. Let us suppose you typically purchase 200 units per month like do.

That means you would need ZWL$1127 to get them in light of the new tariffs structure. The US dollar to RTGS$ rate I am working with is 1:115. This means to get ZWL$1127 I would need US$9.80. This means that one unit or kWh of electricity would be 4.9 US cents. The Energy Minister recently pointed out that electricity is being imported for as high as 24 US cents per unit or kWh. What this essentially means is that we are still paying way low for our electricity. This is just an observation and I am in no way saying it is all good for everyone.

I am well aware that many people struggle to afford adequate electricity despite its being ‘cheap’. This is mainly due to low incomes and getting incomes in ZWL$ which is the case for the majority of Zimbabweans. However, the truth is that electricity is quite cheap given the amount used to import it. For someone who uses 200 units or less you just need less than US$10 per month – I think that is quite reasonable. Even for those who consume over 400 units per month, it is still reasonable because such scenarios usually entail sharing the bill. What do you think?

So the interesting thing I hinted at earlier has to do with making this tariffs hike effective on the 26th of this month. You cannot help but feel that that was a deliberate decision to capitalize on recurring trends. I have noticed that many people cannot manage to consume within 200 units or less per month. Thus they always have to end up purchasing more expensive electricity to conclude the month. Basically right now, during this time of the month that is what will be happening. Ordinarily, you would expect, I was expecting the tariffs hike would be the effective beginning of June. However, it did not turn out to be so and I am sure it is because of what I have just explained. So that is it about the recent ZESA tariffs hike, what are your thoughts?