Authorities have clarified that the so-called lifeline for electricity consumption has only been increased to 200 kWh, and not to 300 kWh, as announced by ZESCO in connection with last week’s increase in electricity tariffs by 51%. The lifeline was previously set at 100 kWh. ZESCO had applied to increase it to 300 kWh, but the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) explained that the 300 kWh-threshold would have left most household untouched by the increase in tariffs: “Our assessment showed that 200 kWh is the realistic lifeline to provide for basic lighting and use of electric gadgets in a standard home, excluding cooking and heating,” ERB director of consumer and public affairs Agnes Phiri stated. The energy charge below the lifeline has remained at 0.15 K/kWh in order to protect the most vulnerable members of society, while the energy charge above the lifeline has been increased to 0.77 K/kWh from 0.51 K/kWh with effect from 15 May 2017.