ONE million energy saving bulbs will be distributed throughout the country by end of this month which will save 50 megawatts of power, says Zesco spokesperson Henry Kapata.
Mr Kapata in an interview said the energy saving were cost effective as they lasted much longer at least three to four years if the operating voltage was normal compared to ordinary bulbs.
He explained that ordinary bulbs were inefficient as they only used about 10 percent of the energy for lighting and that 90 percent was wasted as heat and only lasted three to five months.
“As Zesco, we believe that energy saving bulbs will be part of the medium to long term initiative to save energy and contribute to the mitigation of the power deficit in the country,” he said.
He noted that Zesco would save 50 megawatts of power after the distribution of the one million energy saving bulbs.
Mr Kapata denied reports that the energy saving bulbs being distributed encouraged were not safe because they contained mercury.
“The energy saving bulbs are very safe to be used at home and at workplaces. The mercury contained in the energy saving bulbs is only 3milligrams which is about one quarter of mercury found in an ordinarily bulb,” he said
He added that the entire SADC region was currently using energy saving bulbs as a way to mitigate power shortages.
Mr Kapata said between 2009 and 2014 SADC member countries managed to save 3, 000 megawatts of electricity because of the use of energy saving bulbs.
“As Zesco Limited, what we can say is that reports that the energy saving bulbs being encouraged to be used are not safe because they contain mercury are not true,” he said.
Mr Kapata was commenting on concerns from some members of the public that the energy saving bulbs proposed by Zesco contained a large amount of mercury which could be harmful to clients.