THE government is planning to review upwards from 200 units the cost of cheaper electricity a household gets per month because current thresholds are too low, Energy and Power Development minister Fortune Chasi ha said..
The current stepped structure allocates 200 units pegged at $186, 50 as the amount the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) found suitable for a household per month.
That facility is only available on the first purchase of the calendar month followed by a rather punitive billing administered by ZETDC.
After the initial purchase in the calendar month, subsequent purchases for electricity are steep and $186,50 cannot buy even 40 units.
An average family now requires close to $1 000 monthly for electricity and that has put electrical power beyond the reach of many despite it being a basic commodity for all urban dwellers.
Chasi said government was going to increase the tariff for cheaper electricity for 200 units "soon".
"We are going to review and increase the amount soon," he said.
"It is true the allocation may not be enough but we are looking into it."
Prior to its implementation of the new tariffs last year, ZETDC said its survey on how much power an average household required was 250 units.
Efforts have been fruitless from December 5 last year to get the power utility to demonstrate how it arrived at that 250 units.
Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira is yet to respond to questions sent in December.
Chasi, who accompanied Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga during a tour of Beitbridge last Thursday told farmers that his ministry would readily give licences to those wishing to invest in solar energy.
"I urge farmers to diversify into power generation and set aside at least 200 hectares of their land for that," he said.
"We are ready to buy excess power from you for sale to other consumers."