Failing to Top up your ZESA Prepaid Meter?

Problem topping up ZESA prepaid meter

A few days ago I encountered an interesting situation with regard to the ZESA prepaid electricity meter in my home. That is a situation that many, I dare say, could have encountered before. You know how load shedding has become a normal thing in Zimbabwe that ZESA now has a running schedule on its website? Well, this could have been a contributing factor to my embarrassing situation.

you need an AC connection to top up your ZESA

Though prepaid ZESA meters are battery powered, you wont be able to top up your ZESA without an AC connection

I forgot to top up ZESA prepaid meter

What happened was that I totally forgot to top up the prepaid ZESA electricity meter in my home. As everyone knows, those meters come with annoying alarms that make it almost impossible to forget. However, this time around, someone in my household woke up in the dead of the night and turned off the alarm.

As a result, I didn’t know that my electricity was about to give out. The next day, I woke up and discovered that someone had forgotten to turn off the electric stove in the kitchen. Fortunately, the thing no longer heats up as it used to, and there was no real danger of it burning anything.

However, it still meant that the stove ran for 8 hours after the sounding of the ZESA prepaid meter alarm that I had not heard.

A freaky streak of coincidences

In the morning, I left for work, oblivious to the fact that there was  a problem with the electricity at home. Those that I left behind say an hour or so after I left, the electricity was abruptly cut off.

load shedding status

Now, as already mentioned, there has been a resurgence in load shedding in past few months, and they naturally thought that the whole neighborhood had been cut off.

Indeed, the situation stayed like that till I got back from work in the evening. When I arrived, they told me that ZESA had done it again, and we were in the middle of a particularly long bout of load shedding.

Everyone else had electricity

Anyway, it took me only a few minutes to realize that everyone else in the neighborhood had electricity. That’s when I got the confession that yes, indeed; the annoying alarm from the meter had sounded the previous night and had been turned off.

Buying ZESA Prepaid Electricity via ECOCASH

Ecocash has really proven to be convenient when it comes to buying such things as electricity and DSTV (once upon a time). There was a time a while back when people had problems buying ZESA via Ecocash. Fortunately, that was not the case on this particular day. To resolve the issue, I immediately bought prepaid electricity token via ECOCASH. That, as it turned out, was the easiest part.

ZESA Prepaid Meters wont be reloaded if there is no electricity

The ZESA prepaid electricity meters that are in our homes have backup batteries, so it shouldn’t be a problem to reload a token when the household has no electricity.

However, it turns out that things are not that simple. See, you wont be able to reload your ZESA if you do not have electricity in your home. That is what I discovered while trying to get the lights switched on in my home.

The electricity meter in your home just won’t connect to the network without a connection to an AC power source. That’s despite the fact that it will actually be on and running on battery power.

What did I do?

Anyway, to cut the story short, after a few minutes of struggle, I finally went next door to plug the meter into a power source. Fortunately, I have very good relations with my neighbors!

As soon as I plugged the thing into an AC power source, I was able to top up my account without a problem. In fact, the electricity had already been switched on by the time I got back home from gossiping with the neighbors.

So, once your electricity has run out, the ZESA prepaid electricity meters will not allow you to top-up without a connection to an AC outlet. That may be the reason why you are failing to load your ZESA meter.

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