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Energy Efficiency Policy buy-in from stakeholders critical

ZERA board member Masimba Kambarami

Energy Efficiency Policy buy-in from stakeholders critical

By Edward Mukaro

ANALYSTS have applauded efforts by the country to come with an Energy Efficiency Policy, but, however, warned of methodologies and gaps that may hinder efforts to get the necessary buy-in from stakeholders and stockholders.

For the Government, development of the Energy Efficiency Policy is in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) objective to achieve energy efficiency levels that ensure the use of minimum level of energy to obtain the maximum economic output, whilst minimising harm to people and the environment is met.

Last week the minister of Energy and Power Development Hon Soda Zhemu graced the Energy Efficiency Policy Validation workshop – a hybrid event – in Harare, where he called for the formulation of an inclusive policy owned by the people.

Commenting on the work done by local consultants – Access Consul – hired by the Government to come up with a people-centered Energy Efficiency Policy, analysts applauded work done so far in the policy formulation process, but pointed issues, which if left out would make the document irrelevant.

Climate expert Wilson Chimwedzi said the policy speaks to its calling, but expressed concern on its uptake, as it was not clearly elaborated how consultants engaged concerned parties.

“From a bird’s eye view the policy speaks to the overwhelming need for efficiency in the energy sector and in terms of its practicality, it is difficult to say as it is not clear how stakeholders, stockholders, interested parties, and the nation was engaged at large. It remains to be seen how it will be implemented and its uptake,” said Chimwedzi.

He added that policy formulation is the development of a framework that seeks to address the fundamental challenges at grass root levels and how efficiency at the household level translates to household savings in other words the real economics.

“Using the template approach has the risk of producing a policy that has no public ownership resulting in low uptake. The process, therefore, in my view at its very inception should have developed a road map with clear milestone indicators.

“The document in its entirety is technical sound and it would be unfair to analyse it without a clear appreciation of the limitations faced by the consultants, validation is however not an event it’s a process which must yield objective views and critical data resulting in a wholesome policy which is present and futuristic.

“Going forward the validation meetings must not take the form of PhD students defending a thesis, but rather a platform of sharing and exchanging concerns, this approach will undermine the great work and edification of the process,” he added.

Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) board member, Masimba Kambarami, who also present at the EEF Validation workshop, implored Access Consul to address the issue of incentives, through engagement with the finance ministry.

“I found the policy to be very relevant and well researched. It however did not address the issue of financial incentives.

“The only major gap was the lack of research on incentives needed to bring this policy to fruition. They (Access Consul) need to liaise with the Finance ministry for this to happen.

“For example, with regards to EV’s & Hybrid, they need to convince finance that forfeiting duty on importation can benefit the country financially in the long run due to a reduced fuel import bill. They can also increase solar geyser usage by giving tax breaks to those who install. Companies who install for their employees can get a tax allowance,” said Kambarami.

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