Efficient power use to save Zim $115m

HARARE - Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) — a subsidiary of power utility Zesa Holdings — says the country could save up to $115 million annually through efficient power demand side management.

Demand side management is the planning, implementation and monitoring of programmes and activities carried out by the national power utility to modify consumer demand pattern or load curve without compromising on customer value.

Howard Choga, ZETDC acting managing director, recently said that through improved energy efficiency, industrial, commercial and domestic electricity users can save up to 19 percent of the country’s total consumption.

“The country’s potential savings are equivalent to 1 650 GWhs ($115 million) annually,” he said.
This comes at a time when Zimbabwe is facing acute power shortages due to lack of investment in the sector.

The country requires at least 2 200 MW per against an electricity production of a little over 1 000 MW.
Choga noted that in demand side management both customers and utilities carry out defined activities that result in the utility reducing system investment and operational costs and consumers benefitting from reduced electricity costs.

“Benefits of demand side management includes a reduction in customer energy bills through better customer energy management and cost savings though reduction or deferment of capital projects by utilities (power plants, lines, substations),” he said.

Improvement in power reliability and quality of supply and the reduction in emissions that contribute to national and international environmental problems such as acid rain and global warming through the deferment of commissioning of coal fired plants are some of the benefits associated with energy conversation.

Choga noted that ZETDC  has so far swapped over one million compact fluorescent lamps in homes resulting in 41 88MW of energy being saved.

“335 000 prepaid meters have also been installed and 65 MW have been saved.

“This translates to 23 percent reduction in energy consumed,” he said.

ZETDC has also had its region engineers trained by Teri of India to advise large customers, while ripple control core systems have been refurbished in Harare and Bulawayo.

Choga however noted that lack of requisite skills, inadequate funding and lack of appropriate legislation and legal instruments are some of the barriers to successful implementation of demand side management.

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