The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority says it will soon launch a prepaid meters pilot program in the aim of helping consumers reduce power usage and costs.
The utility plans to install 600,000 prepaid meters - but said the State Procurement Board must conduct a tender to choose a supplier of the necessary meters.
Meters have been placed in locations in both Harare and Bulawayo, the country's two largest cities, to test preparedness before the project goes nationwide.
Skeptics of the prepaid meter system say ZESA's plan will not benefit consumers as the national supply of electricity remains a continuing issue.
ZESA spokesman Fullard Gwasira said using prepaid meters will benefit consumers and ZESA and increase the available power supply by reducing waste.
Simbarashe Moyo, chairman of the Combined Harare Residents Association, said meters will not help a country that generates only half the power it needs, insisting that ZESA must focus on the main problem which is insufficient electrical generation.
But Progressive Bulawayo Residents Association Organizing Secretary Ambrose Sibindi said residents will embrace pre-paid meters if the rates are low enough.