Zesa bans conventional light bulbs

Domestic and industrial users will be required to use energy-saving alternatives such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

Zimbabweans will from next year be barred from using conventional filament light bulbs as part of the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority’s new regulations to save electrcity.

Domestic and industrial users will be required to use energy-saving alternatives such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.
 Zesa bans conventional light bulbs
The Sunday Mail has gathered that Zera, has also instituted measures to completely ban importation and sale of electrical appliances that fail to meet energy efficiency standards set under its Minimum Energy Performance Standards regulations.

MEPS is a specification of performance requirements for electrical devices such stoves, geysers, dishwashers, washing machines and pool pumps.

The ban on incandescent light bulbs is anticipated to relieve the national grid of a substantial amount of power.

According to Zera, replacing five million incandescent light bulbs with modern lighting alternatives will save the country, at any given time, over 300MW of electricity

enough to power the country’s second city of Bulawayo.

Energy-saver light bulbs use 80 percent less electricity and last more than six times longer than ordinary filament lamps.

Responding to questions from this publication, Zera chief executive Mr Misheck Siyakatshana said the MEPS regulations would come into force next year.

“Zera is promoting energy efficiency through the following measures/interventions: Creation of Minimum Energy Performance Standards for all electrical appliances for use in Zimbabwe and labelling the appliances efficiency levels,” he said.

“The MEPS stipulate minimum efficiency levels for appliances that can be imported into the country or offered for sale. It is envisaged that incandescent bulbs with extremely low efficiency will automatically fall outside the standards.

“It is envisaged that Zera should start enforcing MEPS in the first quarter of 2016 once stakeholder consultations have been concluded and consumer awareness programmes conducted.” Most Zimbabwean households use light bulbs with energy consumption levels of between 40 and 100 watts.

The soon-to-be-discontinued incandescent bulbs sell for USc 50 apiece. Energy saving CF lamps sell for between USc75 and US$1 for the cheapest varieties.

Zesa spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira told The Sunday Mail that replacing all incandescent light bulbs would mitigate load shedding.

He said: “Total replacements of five million incandescent lights with CFL lights will save about 180MW. If we change all CLF to LED lights another saving of 135MW (will be realised).

“If all geysers are replaced by solar water heating the country will save a further 135MW of power. Savings of up to 200MW are equivalent to the total consumption cycle of a city like Bulawayo without load shedding.

“This will contribute significantly to curtailing the duration and extent of load shedding whilst works are being completed for additional capacity at Hwange and Kariba power stations.”

In 2011, Zesa rolled out a free bulb exchange programme that saw thousands of households receiving CFL bulbs in exchange for the filament bulbs at a cost of US$12 million to the utility.

Zimbabwe’s peak power demand is around 2 200MW, but as of last week Zesa’s five main power stations were generating 1 357MW, the bulk of it from Kariba hydro power plant (664MW).

Hwange produced 598MW while smaller thermal power stations Bulawayo (36MW), Harare (30MW) and Munyati (29MW) accounted for the rest.

In 2011 South Africa said the country would phase out all incandescent light bulbs and replace them with energy-efficient ones by 2016, making it the first African country to undertake such a comprehensive transition.

Many developed nations have banned the use of energy inefficient filament bulbs.

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