Nkosilathi Sibanda recently in Binga
INDUSTRIAL and household users of electricity in Binga have taken heed to the call by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) to do away with inefficient incandescent lights and align with the country’s drive towards sustainable energy sources.
The incandescent lighting system has been widely condemned as it consumes more power than the highly recommended Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
According to Zera, businesses and households that use LED lights conserve energy by up to 80 percent.
The energy savers are 80 percent efficient and last 10 times longer than ordinary filament bulbs as they have 10 000 burning hours.
The Binga community remained one of the few centres countrywide that remained stuck to incandescent lighting system but owing to an intense engagement with Zera and the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, there is now a gradual shift to energy saving.
Binga has an array of business investments with most being into tourism and hospitality. Apart from its growing business centre, Binga town’s residential projects are expanding as the Binga Rural District Council intensifies housing and social amenities construction and civil works. This eventually pulls a strain on natural resources and energy reserves.
Last week, Engineer Tobias Mudzingwa, Zera’s renewable energy expert advised business players and residents in the tourist resort district that the use of compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) and light emitting diode (LED) bulbs could help conserve energy and improve livelihoods.
“There is a lot to derive from saving energy through adopting ways that will help improve the way business and households are run. The town is growing. The demand for electricity is high. We implore business leaders to take the lead. When Binga businesses save energy it means the whole community benefits. Zera is calling on all electricity consumers to stop using the incandescent bulbs, whether at home or office because these use a lot of power and are not environmentally friendly in the long run.
“Besides saving power, the switch to LED lights will also help families and businesses save money. LED lights can last up to five years as they use less energy,” said Eng Mudzingwa.
Mr Pilate Dube of the Binga Business Association said he has saved a lot on overheads since he started using LEDs. Mr Dube has many businesses in Binga.
“It is a real case of sustainable energy practices. I am saving a lot as I pay less for my electricity bill. I have business premises that have to be lit all day, so by having these bulbs that draw less power, it is a plus for me,” he said.
Mr David Muleya who operates a fishing venture said he has replaced his bulbs with the LEDs and called on other fishermen to do the same.
“It is true that these new bulbs last longer. I have not bought a bulb for my three fishing boats since January 2018. I tell my colleagues every time that these old bulbs are expensive as they often break or blow out when you need light the most,” he said.
The fishing industry drives the Binga economy and fishermen in the district need lights for more than 10 hours a day.
Mrs Uliziwe Muchimba, a resident who attended the consumer education and awareness outreach workshop, said prior to Zera’s outreach meeting, she did not know the disadvantages of using incandescent bulbs.
“I am grateful to Zera for their visit, otherwise where would I have known all this? I heard that I will start to save on electricity if I use the LED lights that we were shown at the workshop.”
Mr Ntokozo Nyoni, the Matabeleland region chairman of the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, said they will continue to partner Zera to impart knowledge on how best consumers can reduce electricity consumption thereby making savings.