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Zesco bonanza

ZESCO has given its domestic and commercial customers a relief package aimed at cushioning the negative impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the low income households and small businesses.
Zesco Managing Director Victor Mundende said in a statement that the three-fold relief package cancels all accumulated fixed tariff charges for over 71, 000 customers.
“Zesco has found it prudent to temporarily mitigate the plight of low income customers who had been severely impacted by the reduced economic activities resulting from the pandemic,” said Mr Mundende.He said the power utility company has also temporarily suspended recovery of accumulated outstanding debt for prepaid customers, and given relief of 100 units for purchase of electricity for economically disadvantaged customers totaling 460, 000 whose monthly consumption of electricity does not exceed 200 units. Mr Mundende also said Zesco has cancelled all accrued fixed tariff charges amounting to K46.3 million for customers on residential and commercial tariffs effective August 1, 2020.He stressed the need for Zesco to support the multi-sectoral approach led by Government to ensure the sustainability of social and economic welfare of the people under the current environment resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.“These arrears were accumulated before December 31, 2019 when fixed charges were abolished during the tariff review exercise that took effect in January 2020. It was found that failure to pay off these accumulated arrears had resulted in some customers self-disconnecting as they could not afford to pay off the fixed charges before they could access the electricity units for a new month,” Mr Mundende said.He said apart from the temporal suspension of recovery of accumulated outstanding debt for prepaid customers, the utility company has also temporarily suspended the 40 percent recovery rate of outstanding debt, accrued at transition from post-paid billing to prepaid between 2006 to 2014 period, on every amount tendered by customers for electricity purchases, effective from November 1, 2020.“Additionally, Zesco will grant Covid-19 relief for purchase of “Life Line” units of electricity for a maximum of 19, 000 commercial customers and 460, 000 low consuming residential customers, effective December 1, 2020.

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