Zimbabwe's electricity authority is to hand out 5.5 million energy-saving flourescent bulbs to its consumers in a bid to curb consumption, a state daily newspaper reported Monday.
"We will give the compact fluorescent lamps for free in exchange for incandescent bulbs which we will destroy," Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) spokesman Fullard Gwasira was quoted as saying by The Herald newspaper.
"This is an immediate term response to relieve our clients from load-shedding."
Gwasira said the compact florescent lamps to be distributed by year-end at a cost of $12 million will save 200 megawatts of electricity.
He allayed fears that the energy-saving bulbs have health side effects as they contain mercury saying "there are no adverse effects if properly used."
ZESA will also introduce a new billing system for consumers who have been paying bills based on estimates.
"The prepayment metering system will enable customers to manage their own consumption of electricity," Gwasira said.
Zimbabwe has been battling to produce enough electricity at its main power stations Kariba Hydro and Hwange thermal power stations resulting in massive powercuts lasting up to 10 hours in some cases.
The country requires 2,200 MW per month but it can only produce 1,300 MW, topping up with imports from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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