ZESCO says investigations into complaints of alleged unusual depletion of electricity units on prepaid meters have been completed.
Zesco Spokesperson Henry Kapata told Money FM News in an interview that following complaints from consumers about the unusual high consumption of electricity units experienced, Energy Regulation Board (ERB) and Zambia Metrology Agency (ZMA) carried out joint investigations to determine the accuracy of ZESCO’s prepaid meters, and the results show that the meters meet the specifications.
Mr. Kapata said investigations had covered different parts of the country which included Lusaka, Southern and Copperbelt provinces, adding that the meters were tested independently by a private laboratory while ZESCO observed the physical inspection of meters at individual households.
“Both ZESCO’s vending system for possible tampering of meters remotely and verification of compliance to ERB approved tariffs for transactions were undertaken. Investigations established that it was impractical to remotely tamper with the domestic prepaid meters, as there is no remote communication link between the electricity meters and ZESCO metering system or its electricity vending points,” Mr. Kapata stated.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kapata said when load management is stabilized, consumers will experience high consumption of electricity units because they will have more power than the current situation.
“When we stabilize in load management, people will see that units are depleting fast because they will have more power unlike it is now when they have no power from 8 to 12 hours, because when you have no power from 8 to 12 hours and all of a sudden you have only maybe 4 hours of load management so that’s the time we have all these concerns that units are depleting fast.”
“We have never at any time had an exercise of moving from one house to another to tamper with the meters, there is no system that permits us to do that,” he said.
He added that depleting units can be tackled through, retrofitting all inefficient lamps with efficient LED lamps, using of photo sensors, motion sensors or timers for control of security lights, or investing in behavioral change on matters related to energy efficiency.