The suggested connection fees from ZESCO have been reduced by the Energy Regulation Board (ERB).
According to REYNOLDS BOWA, the chair of the ERB Board, the board has voted to accept amended connection fees that will go into effect on January 1st, 2023.
The revised new connection fees in low density areas, which ZESCO had intended to increase from the current 2,873 Kwacha to 13,248 Kwacha, now cost 4,846 Kwacha.
Compared to the prior 361-percent rise suggested by ZESCO, this represents a 69-percent increase.
The ZESCO-proposed 34,000 kwacha from 5,000 kwacha cost for three phase underground connections in low density regions has been reduced and approved at 11,120 kwacha.
Upgrades to existing single phase overhead connections from the current K1,558 to three phase connections were originally suggested for K15,227 and approved at K11,120.
According to Mr. BOWA, the board has agreed a 70–30 cost sharing arrangement under which consumers would pay 70% of the ERB’s estimated connection costs and ZESCO would cover the remaining 30%.
At a press conference, he stated that the approved cost sharing method is intended to make connection fees more accessible, particularly for low income homes.
Additionally, the ERB has ordered ZESCO to create payment options that would let customers pay connection fees over the course of a year.
According to Mr. BOWA, customers who agreed to pay at least half of the billed price based on the newly approved rates and join right away shall be treated as though they had paid in full.
On September 3rd, 2022, ZESCO submitted a request to the ERB asking it to take into account raising the connection fees for customers.