Zesco has effected the proposed initial 50 per cent electricity tariff hike today May 1, 2017 pending another 25 per cent in September.

Explaining the increment in a statement, Zesco managing director Victor Mundende said the utility was struggling to meet its operational and capital demands.

“Zesco has had several engagements with key stakeholders including the government and the ERB. Following these engagements, it has become clear that Zesco requires an immediate increase in its tariffs in order to ensure that it continues to meet its operational and capital obligations,” Mundende stated.

“The current electricity tariffs in Zambia are not cost reflective for all customer categories. Therefore, there is need for the current electricity tariff to be gradually adjusted to cost reflectively for all the retail and mining customers.”

He said instead of implementing the 187 per cent increment which was permitted by the Energy Regulation Board in 2015, Zesco would effect a gradual adjustment in order to cushion the impact.

“In view of the above, ZESCO proposes to effect a 75 per cent increase in tariffs in 2017 to be implemented in two stages.as follows: An initial 50 per cent effective May1, 2017 and an additional 25 per cent increase effective Septmeber 1, 2017,” stated Mundende.

“To cushion low-income customers, the Life Line tariff (R1) which was previously for 100 units has been increased to 300 units at the same tariff level.”