12 Jul 2013 11:19

HARARE, July 12 (BERNAMA-NNN-NEW ZIANA) -- The Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) says the installation of energy saving bulbs in houses in the sub-region has saved the countries involved some 2,305 megawatts (MW) ofelectricity since 2009.

Also known as compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), compact fluorescent light and compact fluorescent tube, energy saving bulbs are being installed in place of incandescent lamps (traditional bulbs or globes). They give the same amount of visible light but use one-fifth to one-third of the electric power consumed by traditional bulbs and last eight to 15 times longer.

Although an energy saver bulb has a higher purchase price than an incandescent lamp, it can save over five times its purchase price in electricity costs. The SAPP said in a statement here Thursday that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) had been facing an electricity deficit since 2007 and expectations were that the identified gap would be met by 2016. The SAPP, set up in 1955, is a co-operative arrangement of the national electricity companies under the auspecies of the 15-nation SADC and the SAPP members have created a common power grid between their countries and a common market for electricity in the SADC region. “SAPP is implementing a number of demand side management and energy efficiency programmes that include the replacement of incandescent bulbs with CFLs. The SAPP region has saved 2 305 MW since 2009,” the statement said. "Most utilities have embarked on this program. We consider this as a low-hanging fruit." Other projects included installation of solar water geysers, commercial lighting and hot water load control mechanisms, it said. Zimbabwe is one of the SAPP member states distributing the energy saving bulbs for free through the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZETDC). -- BERNAMA-NNN-NEW ZIANA LKC FR