The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority has got it right at last. It has introduced pre-paid billing whereby consumers buy power in advance.
Energy Minister Elton Mangoma said the company had already supplied 19 000 consumers with prepaid metres and expects to connect all 600 000 in 10 months.
Consumers owe the power utility $600 million.
Mangoma said any debt owing will be input into the meter and 20 percent of the money used to buy electricity will be credited to the debt until it is paid off.
The introduction of prepaid metres was long overdue as Zimbabwe did not have the capacity to read metres and usually relied on estimates or on citizens reading their own meters and giving the figures to ZESA.
Prepaid metering allows consumers to decide what to use and prevents wastage.
Mangoma said a change in usage habits could result in up to 20 percent saving, which could result in a national saving of about 120 megawatts at peak.
The new measure will also mean that everyone will start repaying their debt as the amount will be automatically deducted from any new power purchases.