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Child studying using a candle during a power cut
On September 12, 2021 ZETDC announced new increased load shedding measures due to power generation constraints at both Hwange and Kariba power stations.  The detailed timetable can be downloaded here. Using it is simple. There are two tables, Table 2 which is a list of codes corresponding to suburbs, and Table 1, which shows load shedding periods for each code (suburb). To use the timetable just look up your suburb in Table 2, then go on to find that code in Table 1, which will show you the times when load shedding occur
 After having gone through a prolonged period of constant supply of electricity, mainly due to the COVID induced closure of industries, this might come as a rude awakening for most people. Even worse, schools and offices have re-opened so there is pressure to get going in the morning and a need to cook, eat and catch up on entertainment in the evening. You can lessen the burden, disappointment and stress arising from power cuts by considering some of the tips we are suggesting below.
What am I going to do about Cooking?
Given that the load shedding is occurring during peak evening hours we recommend the following;
  • Use of LPG gas stoves for cooking. Thanks to the prevalence of LPG gas technology, the cost of gas stoves has gone down, so we recommend investing in an emergency small tank and stove. ZERA also assumed the control of LPG gas pricing so we hope to see prices slightly going down or at least remaining constant
  • Switching to modern induction stoves will allow you to cook using solar energy. Unlike traditional stoves, induction stoves don’t require a heated element to work which makes them more efficient. A 5kw solar system with a good panel array and battery bank will be able to power a one plate induction stove. Alternatively, slow cookers can also be used on well-designed solar systems.
  • Use of alternative cooking energy sources might also be another option. However, most of them are environmentally unfriendly, so we ask you to be mindful of the source of your firewood and charcoals. There are modern cook stoves that make open fire cooking safer and more efficient.
What about my child’s online lessons? My Lighting and entertainment?
For lighting purposes, we don’t recommend the use of open fire light sources as they lead to fire hazards. Instead consider the following:
  • The purchase of a small solar system to power your lighting and primary loads like Wi-Fi, phone charging, or TV and associated entertainment gadgets. Infinity Solar has reliable entry level 1kW systems starting as low as $900.
  • For those with school children, A 1kW system is also ideal as a starter system for online learning needs. You can then build the system up to a 3kW.
  • If a 1kW is still a steep budget, then we recommend purchasing a modern rechargeable solar light with phone charging capabilities. Check out our $30 light that was voted best camping light in 2020 by the South African Camping Association. It comes with a phone charging USB outlet, and an Ultra bright LED light that can be set to automatically turn on when there is a power cut.  
  • For those who would like to enjoy their entertainment during a power cut we encourage you to consider 3kW packages which would allow you continue with your shows and football games even during a blackout. The hybrid inverter ensures an automatic transition between ZESA and solar, so you wouldn’t even notice there was a power cut!
What about my water situation? I need borehole and booster pump running.
For those that rely on boreholes and boosters to directly feed their household water supply a power cut can be very inconvenient. Options are limited, but we suggest the following:
  • Of cause the best solution would be getting a solar system that can power your borehole and booster. Depending on your pump size a 3kW and 5kW systems will easily get the job done. Our 5kW systems with the Blue Nova Lithium batteries are available on payment plans. You put 30% down for installation and the rest in 12 months. With such a treat, there is no reason to suffer water shortages during this load shedding period!
  • For those who unfortunately can’t acquire a solar system then we recommend taking advantage of the load shedding timetable (insert link) to plan by storing water in containers for emergency usage.
  • If you have a pressure-controlled borehole that directly supplies the household without a tank, then we highly recommend considering installing a JoJo tank so that you have water during a power cut.
    Thanks, but I still want to make my coffee, microwave my pizza and iron my clothes…
  • We hear you loud and clear if you don’t want to adjust your lifestyle in any manner because of the load shedding. That is why we have the Infinity Solar Zeus Solar Systems ranging from 10kW and above. All are available under our 12 months to pay program!
  • Turn your house into a mini power-plant with our remote monitored Growatt, Victron and Phocos systems coupled with our range of lithium ion batteries. We have Blue Nova, Pylontech and REVOV energy storage systems in stock.
  • Give us a call to discuss your energy need and suggest a solar solution. We will conduct a site visit to ensure that the proposed system will be adequate for your needs.  Contact us on 0716 861 073 or 0719 215 273
System upgrades
Last, for all those with existing solar systems that are giving them challenges don’t hesitate to get hold of our technical team for assistance. They will help you diagnose the issue and get you ready for the announced load shedding. We offer upgrades under flexible payment terms!
Power cuts are annoying but don’t have to be that scary anymore given the multiple copying mechanisms available. We hope we helped, otherwise visit us at our store located on Shop #6, Eastlea Mall (Penny wise shops), Msasa Road for further discussions.