Reports are that a lot of members are still being confused by ZESA’s stepped tariff system-they still cannot seem to get the hang of it. ZETDC has been at pains to make people understand how it works, they even created a video but it seems Maths isn’t something most members of the public can easily understand.

Be as it may we have come across a very simple explanation of how it all works that is likely to be understood by most people even those who are numerically challenged:

For anyone struggling to get their heads around the zetdc tariff changes, each month your first 50 units will cost $20.50 total, then the next 150 units will cost $136.50 total, after that it’s $3.87 per unit… so if you buy your units in $50 increments you should receive the following units each month.

1st $50 – 82 units
2nd $50 – 54 units
3rd $50 – 54 units
4th $50 – 20 units
5th $50 – 12 units
after this each $50 continues at 12 units

the first 200 units are sold at a reduced rate on a “lifeline tariff” in an attempt to keep the cost of power lower for those on lower incomes, the majority of households use 200 units or less per month so most people won’t be paying the $3.87 top rate, those that do reach that level of usage will be paying a premium, the aim of the premium is to 1 – encourage sensible power usage, and 2 – subsidize the most vulnerable in our society who will be surviving on the “lifeline tariff”

The idiot proof explaination

If you are using Ecocash the minimum amount of electricity you can buy is $50. This explanation builds on this to indicate how much power you get each time you spend $50.

It is important to note:

  • That the tariff resets every new month. So the first $50 you spend each month buys you 82 units and so on
  • The total amount of units you get from spending $200 once is not different from the amount you get from spending $200 in $50 batches i.e. the cost of power is not affected by how many times you buy.
  • It is rather affected by how much you buy within the month. If you buy more you pay more up to $3.87/unit when your usage exceeds 200 units which are being sold at a discounted rate

Hopefully, that helps to lessen the confusion but we are under no illusion, some people will still be confused even after reading this.