Zimbabwe is banning the installation of new electric water heaters in 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.
Power cuts have been exacerbated by low dam water levels at Zimbabwe’s biggest hydro plant following a severe drought and constant breakdowns of coal-fired generators, hitting mines, industry, and households.
The government has previously said electric water heaters consume up to 400 MW of power a day in Zimbabwe where daily production on Wednesday totaled 563 MW, against a demand of 1 200 MW.
New regulations published in an official gazette said that as of Wednesday the country’s electricity supplier will no longer be allowed to connect power to premises without solar water heaters.
“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.