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HomeLocal NewsERB GIVES ZESCO GO AHEAD ON CONNECTION FEES INCREMENT 

ERB GIVES ZESCO GO AHEAD ON CONNECTION FEES INCREMENT 

By NAMO PHIRI 

The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has approved Zesco’s application to increase connection charges by as much as 500 percent in some cases.

Addressing the media in Lusaka yesterday, ERB Board Chairperson, Engineer Reynolds Bowa, said ERB received an application from Zesco to revise upwards the connection charges for standard connections for three connection types.

The high density demarcated and reticulated areas have increased by 505 percent for single phase overhead from K769 to K4, 655, while the low density demarcated and reticulated areas with a low customer base within a specific area that have an existing distribution network’s single phase overhead standard has been increased by 361 percent from the current K2, 873 to K13, 248.

The un-demarcated high density areas with a high population density with no electricity network reticulation have increased by 306 percent from K1, 709 to K6, 930 respectively.

Eng Bowa said the new charges are effective from January 1, 2023. He explained that Zesco had challenges to promptly connect new consumers of electricity resulting in a backlog of 67, 000 pending applications as at December 31, 2021 which was attributed to non-cost reflective charges.

“Zesco’s application therefore sought to adopt a cost reflective pricing mechanism for determination of future connection charges,” said Eng Bowa.

Eng Bowa said the power utility company with cost reflective prices in turn has committed to clearing the backlog and process new standard connections within a 30-working day timeframe as stipulated in the electricity supply quality of consumer service standard.

He said the ERB consequently approved a 70:30 cost sharing mechanism where consumers would meet 70 percent of the ERB’s determined cost of connection while Zesco would finance the remaining 30 percent.

The ERB also directed Zesco to implement payment options that would allow consumers to pay connection fees over a 12-month period, which meant that consumers who would want to pay at least 50 percent of the invoiced charge based on the new approved rates must be connected promptly as though they had made full payment. 

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