At the beginning of last month (1 August), ZESA changed its tariff structure from the simple flat fee to a more complex progressive pricing mechanism that punishes heavy users. It seems the new system has left a lot of consumers confused.

ZESA has helpfully released a video explaining how it all works.

It’s a little more complicated than the video makes it out to be

The new pricing structure is not helped by the fact that a lot of consumers are also battling legacy debts. According to an existing arrangement if you had accumulated debt during the time you were using a postpaid metre you are supposed to clear that debt every time you buy electricity under the new prepaid meter.

So each time you buy electricity a portion of the money you pay to ZESA is deducted from the purchase amount and is used to reduce your old debt. Then the new tariff system is applied to the remaining amount.