ZERA bulb blitz continues

ZERA bulb blitz continues
Zera chief executive officer Engineer Gloria Magombo

Zera chief executive officer Engineer Gloria Magombo

ZIMBABWE has seized and destroyed over 150 000 incandescent light bulbs following a ban on conventional light bulbs under Statutory Instrument (SI) 21 of 2017, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has said.
ZERA chief executive officer, Gloria Magombo, last week told The Financial Gazette that the majority of the bulbs — about 100 000 —were seized by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) from an illegal consignment.
“In September, 65 retail points were inspected and six non-compliant shops selling incandescent bulbs were found. A total of 551 bulbs with a capacity of 51,6 kilowatts (kW) were seized. These seized products are estimated to result in savings of more than 151 Megawatts (MWh) per year with the cost of importing such power in excess of $21 593 per year.
“In October 2017, 47 retail points have so far been inspected with 12 non-compliant shops selling incandescent bulbs with 10 partly compliant shops (selling incandescent, CFL and LED bulbs). Fully compliant shops recorded stand at 25,” she said.
“A total number of 780 bulbs with a capacity of 66,9kW were seized. The seized products are estimated to result in savings of more than 195MWh per year. The cost of importing such power is in excess of $28 000 per year,” Magombo said.
According to a ZERA public notice, any person found with the bulbs after April 28, 2017 shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine or face a six-month jail term.
The banned products are incandescent light bulbs with the exception of special incandescent lighting products such as medical and laboratory equipment, T10 AND T12 halo phosphate florescent lamps and magnet ballasts as well as florescent lamps with a colour rendering index less than 80.
At the end of June 2017, ZERA had seized over 6 000 bulbs after the law became effective on April 28, 2017, with ZIMRA seizing and destroying a consignment of over 100 000 bulbs.
Magombo said while most of the country’s major retailers had complied, the blitz had mostly affected informal traders who had taken longer to comply.
The regulator is set to roll out a new phase under the law aimed at ensuring local retailers complied with minimum energy performing standards, with the next phase looking at trying to ensure that the available product complies with the law.
ZERA domestic and industrial users are now required to use energy-saving alternatives such as CFLs and LED bulbs.
Energy specialists said the ban would save the country from substantial power consumption, much of which is being met through imports.
The energy savers are 80 percent efficient and last 10 times longer than ordinary filament bulbs as they have 10 000 burning hours.
They also provide the same brightness with six times less wattage and last five more years when being used by consumers.
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