Zimbabwe bans electric geysers in bid to save power

HARARE (Xinhua) -- The Zimbabwe government on Wednesday issued energy regulations banning the installation of new electrical geysers at both domestic and commercial buildings as it strives to conserve power that is gravely in short supply.

Zimbabwe is currently enduring power cuts of up to 18 hours a day as power generation remains greatly subdued due to a combination of drought, ageing equipment and lack of foreign currency to import power.

The country was on Wednesday producing 563 MW against demand of 1,200MW.

The drought experienced this year has severely reduced power generation at Kariba Hydro Power Station, one of the country’s main power plants.

The regulations, which shall not apply to existing premises with electrical geysers, are also meant to guide the installation, licensing, and operation of water heating systems that sue solar energy.

“No owner of the premises after the effective day of these regulations shall connect electrical geysers but may, at his or her own expense, install and use solar water heating systems,” the regulations said.

According to the regulations, all new buildings will have to be fitted with solar geysers and those who need electric geysers will need to apply for a special exemption.

The government said in 2018 the nation could save up to 280 megawatts of power through banning use of electric geysers.

Due to the prolonged power challenges, the government has been actively encouraging consumers to invest in alternative forms of energy such as solar but high solar installation costs are prohibiting many from doing so.

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