The Energy Regulation Board has approved an increase in electricity tariffs as proposed by ZESCO in March 2017. The tariffs will in total increase by 75.6% on average, but divided into two steps: Tariffs will go up by an average of 50.8% with effect from 15 May 2015, and by another 16.5% on average with effect from 1 September 2017 (see table).
Government last attempted to increase tariffs in December 2015 – from an average of 5.64 ¢/kWh to 10.35 ¢/kWh (up by between 170% and 250% in Kwacha-terms) – but the political backlash ahead of last year’s elections was too big. Electricity tariffs have, therefore, not been increased since June 2014.
The increase does not affect the mines. Apparently, ZESCO is carrying out separate negotiations with the mines, although the mines seem unaware of this. In March 2017, ZESCO announced a new mining tariff of 9.30 ¢/kWh, although the mines are still disputing the last increase – from 5.31 ¢/kWh to 6.84 ¢/kWh in April 2014 – in court.