Zimbabwe on Tuesday banned the importation, manufacture and distribution of inefficient lighting equipment with effect end of April 2017 as it struggles to conserve energy in the face of inadequate generation.

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) in a statement said that the ban would be instituted under Statutory Instrument 21 of 2017 and come into effect on April 28.

“The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority hereby informs all lighting products importers, wholesalers, retailers, consulting engineers, contractors/installers and the general public of the promulgation of the Electricity (Inefficient Lighting Ban and Labeling) Regulations, 2017 published in SI 21 of 2017,” ZERA said.

The authority said that the regulations were meant to protect consumers from substandard lighting products as well as ensure efficient use of electricity in the country, according to official news agency New Ziana.

No one will be allowed to import, manufacture, distribute or sell lighting products which do not meet the minimum energy performance standards as defined in the regulations and all rejects will be seized and disposed of.

ZERA also banned incandescent light bulbs, with the exception of special incandescent lighting products such as medical and laboratory equipment and halo phosphate fluorescent lamps, among a few exceptions.

Importers of lighting products for sale or distribution will be required to register with ZERA while lighting products should have labels which indicate voltage, wattage, lumens, life span and energy efficiency class.

Anybody who contravenes the new regulations will be liable to a fine or imprisonment or both, the authority warned.

A senior official with power utility ZESA Holdings said the banning of inefficient lighting systems would go a long way in addressing the country’s electricity woes as the more efficient energy saving lighting only consumed about 15 percent of energy compared to filament bulbs and their lot.

A replacement of 5.5 million incandescent bulbs with energy saving fluorescent bulbs could save up to 200 megawatts, the power utility has said.

Zimbabwe is in a perennial power deficit with ZESA’s generation unit Zimbabwe Power Company generating just about half of the country’s energy requirements. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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