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Zimbabwe: Econet Partners Zesa Holdings On Smart Meters

CategoryPress Releases
TagsElectricity utilities, Energy Access, Finance and Investment, Regulatory and Governance, Rural Electrification, Statistics

ZESA Holdings has partnered with Econet Wireless Zimbabwe to roll out its ambitious US$35 million prepaid and smart metering programme aimed at reducing debt risks due to payments default by major electricity consumers.

The strategic partnership will be implemented through ZESA's power transmission unit, the Zimbabwe Electricity and Transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC) and Econet Business Solution (EBS), a subsidiary of Econet.

The programme, aiming to install 12 770 smart meters by June 2023, will ensure accurate billing, accountability, transparency and efficiency among utilities, as well as reducing technical and commercial losses.

The EBS Executive, Dr Jimmy Shindi, said Econet was excited to be chosen as one of the technology partners by ZESA Holdings in implementing the project that is key in Zimbabwe's development ecosystem.

"We are confident that this partnership will build and leverage the strengths and assets of both companies to establish a more sustainable energy grid," he said at the installation of the smart meter at Econet headquarters in Msasa on Wednesday.

"We would like to work with Zesa in many other digital areas in the development of our economy. We believe that this relationship will not only benefit the two organisations but other stakeholders in the country as well," he said.

All smart meters to be installed in Zimbabwe are a foundation of a smart grid that could, in future enable micro renewable generation and dynamic supply and demand. Smart meters will be fitted with SIM cards to allow for dual communication.

Speaking at the same occasion, ZETDC acting managing director Engineer Ralph Katsande said the company embarked on smart metering to improve business performance and customer experience.

"This is a game-changing technology for us as a business and to our customers and partners. We are in a long-term win-win partnership with our customers. And today we are happy to be with Econet who also more than a partner are, a consumer, but also as a player in the technology sector. We are excited that Econet has come on board, and I have no doubt that they will enjoy the benefits that come with this technology," he said.

The latest development comes at a time when several countries, including Germany, South Africa and the United Kingdom, are installing smart meters to conserve energy and provide the foundation for a cleaner and more efficient energy system.

ZETDC's smart and prepayment meter project manager, Engineer Wilfred Shereni, said smart meters provide a way to achieve energy-saving targets more efficiently.

"Smart meters track energy usage down to the unit, making billing more accurate and helping consumers keep a tight control of their spend, by ensuring they only pay for the electricity they actually use," he said.

A smart meter generally records consumer usage in near real-time and, when paired with a computer, provides a view of previous usage so that customers can take swift action to avoid energy wastage.