Sifelani Tsiko Senior Writer
Ecobank is willing to provide US$120 million to fund a national roll-out of smart meters by the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company through a local independent energy solutions company.In a document seen by The Herald, the bank said it could fund importation, installation and national rollout of smart meters through Connect the World, a Harare-based company.
“We look forward to fruitful co-operation on this project of national importance and significance, hence our desire to support it financially,” the bank said.
Zesa Holdings – ZETDC’s parent company – has said it will cost more than US$100 million to install 300 000 smart meter units to curb huge losses it was making as a result of the glaring weakness of the prepaid metering system.
Consumers are reeling as a result of an inefficient electricity billing system, while Zesa has cited massive leaks via pre-paid meter units which have seen more than 4 000 properties in Harare using electricity for free as they by-pass the meter or tamper with it in other ways. Connect the World managing director expert Mr Ben Mavedzenge said, “The smart programme is an essential one and funding support from Ecobank provides ZETDC some financial relief.
Mr Mavedzenge said US$120 million was enough for 500 000 smart meters.
A smart meter automatically takes electricity usage readings and transmits these to the energy supplier.