Getting Electricity in


Below is a detailed summary of the procedures, time and cost required for a business to obtain an electricity connection for a newly constructed building in Zambia.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Zambia to 189 other economies.

  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs

    Submit application to Zesco Limited and await estimate

    Agency: Zesco Limited

    An application cannot be submitted online. The customer has to visit any Customer Service Center or Zesco office and collect two forms namely the Customer Application form and the Supply Inquiry form, free of charge. A map highlighting the location of the premise needs to be attached.

    7 calendar days USD 905.6
    * 2

    Receive external inspection by Zesco Limited

    Agency: Zesco Limited

    Once the application has been received, Zesco will conduct an external inspection to do a cost estimate for the works. It is not a requirement for the customer to be present during this inspection. Once the inspection is complete, Zesco will give a cost estimate to the client.

    5 calendar days ZMK 0

    Obtain excavation permit from Lusaka City Council

    Agency: Lusaka City Council

    The customer has to obtain an excavation permit from the Lusaka City Council for the underground connection. The utility however facilitates the process as Zesco is more familiar with the procedures of dealing with excavation permits than the client.

    14 calendar days ZMK 6,000

    Accept estimate and await completion of external works by Zesco Limited

    Agency: Zesco Limited

    Zesco is in charge of the external connection works and will also provide the material. Once the quotation has been paid, Zesco will proceed with the external works, however this will take some times as Zesco must gather all the materials and make the necessary preparation.

    95 calendar days ZMK 55,300
    * 5

    Receive internal inspection by Zesco Limited

    Agency: Zesco Limited

    Zesco will conduct an internal wiring of the warehouse and it is recommended that the electrical contractor be present. Zesco will initiate a test and if it is found that the internal wiring is not up to the standards set by Zesco, a fail test certificate will be issued. . The electrician in charge of the internal wiring does not have to be licensed and/or registered with Zesco. The internal inspection is a necessary condition for opening the meter. Once the team verified that your internal wiring is correctly done they pass over the documents to the team in charge of meter installation.

    1 calendar day ZMK 0

    Receive meter installation and final connection from Zesco Limited

    Agency: Zesco Limited

    Zesco will notify the customer and the electrical contractor when the metering department will be installing the meter. Both the customer and the electrician must be present on that day.

    1 calendar day ZMK 0

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Reliability of supply and transparency of tariff index (0-8)
    Total duration and frequency of outages per customer a year (0-3)
    System average interruption duration index (SAIDI) 137
    System average interruption frequency index (SAIFI) 11.3
    Mechanisms for monitoring outages (0-1)
    Does the distribution utility use automated tools to monitor outages? Yes
    Mechanisms for restoring service (0-1)
    Does the distribution utility use automated tools to restore service? Yes
    Regulatory monitoring (0-1)
    Does a regulator—that is, an entity separate from the utility—monitor the utility’s performance on reliability of supply? Yes
    Financial deterrents aimed at limiting outages (0-1)
    Does the utility either pay compensation to customers or face fines by the regulator (or both) if outages exceed a certain cap? No
    Communication of tariffs and tariff changes (0-1)
    Are effective tariffs available online? Yes
    Link to the website, if available online http://www.zesco.co.zm/customerCare/tariffs
    Are customers notified of a change in tariff ahead of the billing cycle? Yes
    Price of electricity (US cents per kWh) 3.8


    If the duration and frequency of outages is 100 or less, the economy is eligible to score on the Reliability of supply and transparency of tariff index.

    If the duration and frequency of outages is not available, or is over 100, the economy is not eligible to score on the index.