The government has outlawed the fitting of new electric geysers, but existing geysers can continue to be used. We once said making it mandatory to have solar installed on new house could make huge savings on energy import costs, achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on energy and contribute towards Vision 2030.
The banning of new electric water heaters is a bid to save power, energy regulations published on Wednesday showed, at a time when the country is enduring rolling blackouts lasting up to 18 hours a day.
Owners of electric geysers are encouraged to switch to solar, while new solar geysers can have an electric back-up, although that must be set to operate outside peak demand periods.
“No owner of the premises after the effective day of these regulations shall connect electrical geysers but may, at his or her own expense, install and use solar water heating systems,” the regulations said.
Besides electricity cuts, Zimbabweans have to contend with shortages of fuel needed to power generators.
“These regulations are meant to regulate the installation, licensing, operation, repair, maintenance, retrofit and upgrade of solar water heating systems for the production of sanitary hot water to save electricity,” reads section 2 of the regulations.
Zera has to process applications in 30 days and give reasons if it turns the request down.
“The back-up water heater systems that utilise traditional fuels, including electricity, gas, or similar fuels, may be separately installed in buildings or be integrated into the solar heating system to ensure that there is an adequate supply of hot water at all times, especially during periods of extended cloud cover,” reads the regulations.