Zimbabwe should became the first country to require all new homes to be built with rooftop solar panels. Zimbabwe could make huge savings on energy import costs, achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on energy and contribute towards Vision 2030.
ZESA has reintroduced load shedding for the first time since 2015. The power utility has pinned this to Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) who cut the water allocation for electricity generation by 5.3 percent from 38 billion cubic metres to 36 billion cubic metres. With recent loading of over 12 hours in some parts of the country, Zimbabwe should change its mind set when it comes to energy polices.
The country should have a state building code by 2025 any new home that’s three stories tall or shorter, be it a single-family home, flats buildings or offices, will need to include energy-harvesting solar panels on top.
Load shedding is very expensive, not only to ZESA, because they cannot sell as much electricity as we want to, but also for the country.
There could be few exceptions to the rule. Homes that are in the shade and houses where the roof is too tiny to hold panels won’t need to comply.
But builders put the costs of adding on solar to all new homes much higher. Solar can add between USD$4,000 and $6,000 to the price of a new home, and that’s not including add-ons like more expensive energy efficient windows, lighting, and appliances.
Experts believe the costs of installing solar panels pay for themselves over time. Techunzipped estimates that the average single-family home soaking up solar would nearly double their investment in long-term energy bill savings, raking in more than $6,000 in energy costs over 10 years.
It’s possible that with the new rule, the costs of solar could go down, and both panels and installations could get a lot cheaper. Right now, roughly 1% of homes a solar panel. This new rule would shift the equation.