ZIMBABWE has experienced a significant rise in consumption of liquefied petroleum gas in the past three years as households opt for cheaper alternative heating energy.LPG usage rose by 182 percent in 2012 from 6,6 million kilogrammes to 18,6 million kilogrammes in the nine months to September this year, data from Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority shows. Most households are now using gas for cooking and heating as an alternative to electricity and wood.
“The uptake of LPG has been on the increase due to consumers’ awareness of the need to conserve power which has been in short supply in 2014/2015,” said ZERA in a statement.
“Consumers have also realised the benefits of using LPG as an alternative source of energy as part of managing their energy bills.”
LPG is a cleaner form of energy mainly for heating and cooking compared to kerosene and wood fuel. The use of LPG contributes to a reduction in the use of wood fuel and lessens pressures on the national electricity grid.
ZERA has been rolling out awareness campaigns on the safe use of LPG at both retail and household level and this has also helped to increase the uptake of the product.
Meanwhile Zimbabwe is working on an energy procurement framework which will make it mandatory for competitive bidding for Independent Power Producers procurement.
The procurement mechanism is expected to be provided for in the IPP policy currently under discussion.
Lack of laid down procurement of IPPs into the energy mix has in the past raised eyebrows with allegations of unfair business practices levelled against regulatory authorities particularly in the energy sector.
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy chaired by Dr Daniel Shumba waded into the debate yesterday while receiving evidence from the chief executive of the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Commission, Engineer Gloria Magombo.
“We have recommended that in the future we need all procurement of IPPs into the energy mix to be done through competitive tendering. We are working on that framework now,” said Eng Magombo.
“This is why we have requested that the ministry works on an IPP policy on how we are going to procure additional capacity at any given time. It’s really meant to address those issues you are raising. We are working on making sure that there is a mechanism to take care of that efficiency,” she added.