• Very few people will have access to electricity.
• Energy mix in Zambia is widely dominated by charcoal and firewood which accounts for 79%.
• Zambia’s deforestation rate currently stands at approximately 300,000 hectares per year.
An Energy Expert says increasing electricity connection fees will result in high deforestation levels in the country.
Bornface Zulu told Money FM News that once connection fees are hiked, very few people will have access to electricity as most consumers will not be able to raise the money in a timely manner, hence forcing them to use charcoal and firewood.
Mr. Zulu noted that the energy mix in Zambia is widely dominated by charcoal and firewood which accounts for 79%, with electricity in second place at only 10%, Petroleum products at 9% and coal with only 2%.
“This will also slow down efforts the Government is putting up for universal electricity access for all Zambians by 2030 because people will not be attracted to connect to the nation grid due to overpriced connection fees.
“This decision also has negative effects on the efforts being made to reduce carbon emissions as well as our carbon storage is affected because less people will be connected to the grid and more people will continue cutting down trees as a source of energy,” Mr. Zulu noted.
Mr. Zulu further stated that Zambia’s deforestation rate currently stands at approximately 300,000 hectares per year, and the number is expected to grow by 25% in the next 5years if there is no proper response to the energy challenges the country is facing.
ZESCO will with effect from 1st January, 2023 revise power connection fees for domestic and commercial customers, following Energy Regulation Board (ERB)’s approval of the charges.
According to Energy Minister Peter Kapala, ZESCO Limited has not increased the connection fees since 2015.