ZIMBABWE is set to replace at least 140 000 electrical geysers, with solar water heaters that will save at least 280 megawatts of electricity.
Speaking during the launch of the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera)’s national energy efficiency
programme in Masvingo last week, Energy and Power Development secretary Mr Patson Mbiriri said the country needed to adopt solar energy uses.
Mr Mbiriri, who was standing in for Energy and Power Development Minister Simon KhayaMoyo, said there were also plans to ban electric geysers.
He commissioned solar heaters installed by Zera at Mucheke Old People’s Home in Masvingo.
“The country has 140 000 electrical geysers which consume about 280 megaWatts,” he said.
“This can be saved if the electrical geysers are replaced by solar geysers.”
Mr Mbiriri said solar geysers would spare the country from paying more for power and from green house gas emissions as electric geysers consumed 40 percent at household level.
He said the move would also create employment for indigenous companies, appealing to the business community in Masvingo to invest in solar energy.
“Switching to solar energy reduces gas emissions, energy costs associated with heating water,” said Mr Mbiriri.
“Cost of solar equipment is decreasing and efficient solar water geysers are available on the market with electric elements as back up.”
Mr Mbiriri said solar water geysers use clean and renewable energy sources.
The water heaters, he said, could also work for at least 20 years.
Mr Mbiriri said Government was in consultation with relevant stakeholders on the regulations to ban electrical geysers.
He said if approved, it would be mandatory on all new installations to be connected to the national grid.
“The regulations will, however, exempt building structures that are not possible, technically, to have a solar water geyser installed as residential high rise flats,” he said.
“Government will also come up with incentives for consumers to switch to energy ecient heating systems, which will benet the utility, consumers and the nation at large.”
Mr Mbiriri said Mucheke Old People’s Home was a part of the society’s cog and it was the latter’s responsibility to take care of elderly people.
The occasion saw Zera donating bed covers, food hampers and clothes worth about $14 000 to 17 inmates comprising 10 elderly women and seven elderly men.