Erratic electricity supply hindrance to Zim business


Washington Chipango

According to the World Energy Report, electricity accounts for around 20% of final energy use in manufacturing, but in Zimbabwe, the cost of power accounts for at least 5% of manufacturers’ cumulative production costs which makes Zimbabwean locally manufactured goods expensive. This we can see it from a 2017 manufacturing survey report released by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries which indicated that an erratic electricity supply is a major factor attributing to the high cost of doing business in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe now needs solutions now that are sustainable, clean and environmental friendly to our environment.  There are different ways of generating clean energy from the wind, hydro but today we would like to focus on solar energy which has had a constant increase in demand.

While they may be a lot of suggestions on how the government can do to promote the construction and investment into solar power plants, today we look at how as Zimbabweans can start taking the lead today as responsible citizens by switching to solar.

Today we focus on different types of solar systems that a household and businesses can choose from

1. On grid systems– On-grid solar power systems generate power using a solar power system and are directly connected to the utility power grid. These systems send excess power generated by the solar power system to the utility grid and consumers get compensated for the extra power fed back. These systems work in collaboration with the power grid. In the case when there is not enough sunlight to meet your business’ needs, the system runs on the power supplied by the grid. These systems are best suitable when your power consumption is high and you wish to reduce your electricity bills. On-grid systems can be installed with or without net metering. Being connected to the main grid, these systems do not work during power outages.

Who should go On grid?

·         You would like to earn a passive income for the surplus energy generated by the system.

·         You would like t would like to recoup the cost of your business investment by offsetting electricity bills

2.Off grid systems– also known as a stand-alone power system, consists of components that capture sunlight, transform it into usable electricity, store excess for use overnight and provide a backup power source in case of unusual events. Living off-grid refers to being completely independent for electricity.

Who should live off grid?

·         You live in a remote area that has no grid connection

·         You suffer frequent blackouts

·         The power quality you are receiving is often poor resulting in damages to appliances such as computers, freezers, TVs etc

·         the cost of connecting to the grid is prohibitive and that the pricing of power bills is exorbitant

Investing in a solar system with a battery combo is your solution, which still provides you with the option to have access to the grid should you need it or depending on the type of system you choose. If you’re considering switching to solar and would like more information, please feel free to contact us today for a free, no obligation quote. Visit our website to learn more about the basics you need to know before you choose a system,

The Basics you need to know before you choose a system

1. How much energy you use on a daily basis (shown as units/day on your power bill)

2. The maximum amount of power (or maximum demand) you wish to use at any one time

Many people are familiar with the first characteristic as it affects the size of their power bill but not the second characteristic. Maximum demand must be covered by your off-grid power system and is dictated by the number of appliances that are used at the same time, and the instantaneous demand of appliances such as air-conditioners and pumps when they start up (often 3 times their normal usage).

Hence each off-grid system must be individually designed for each installation based on energy consumption habits and is much more complex than a grid-connected solar power system.

Know your energy usage habits

It’s important that you are familiar with your households’ energy usage and consumption habits. A simple way to understand your usage is to list your appliances, their power rating and typically how often you use them.

Consider what components you need

Once you have determined your power requirements, the process of system design and component selection can be completed by a competent professional, like the ones we have at Power Life Energy.

Washington Chipango is the Founder and Managing Director of Power Life Energy. If you’re considering going off-grid and would like more information, please contact him on