Kenya Power has withdrawn an application to increase bills by up to a fifth, shifting its focus to lowering costs, curbing electricity theft and recovery of unpaid bills amounting to over Kes 27 billion.
Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter Wednesday says the firm has recalled the application that was submitted to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) in 2019.
In the application, the firm had sought to increase the consumption charge for usage of fewer than 100 kilowatts per month to Kes12.40 per unit from the current Kes 10. The charge for consuming above 100 units was to rise to kes 19.53 a unit from the current Kes15.80. However, Kenya power held that that the higher tariffs were justified because the present electricity prices lapsed in 2019.
The law provides that electricity tariffs be reviewed every three years, but the timetable has been erratic as the regulator has often delayed or amended the rates, partly due to the government seeking to ease inflationary pressure on households and industries.
Charles Keter said the withdrawal was prompted by the new directors appointed last year, who prefer cost-cutting, sales growth and reduction of power bought from generators that do not reach home and businesses, technically known as system losses, to tariff increases.
“Currently as we speak there is no application for a tariff review. The last one was withdrawn because Kenya Power had a new board and they wanted to review some of the issues and they have not come back with it,” Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter.
Power bills hit a 38-month high in August following an increase in the fuel surcharge levied on electricity tariffs, adding pain to consumers already smarting from the high cost of petrol retailing at Kes134.72 per litre while diesel has jumped to Kes 115.6 a litre — the highest in Kenya’s history.
Meanwhile, Kenya Power has received a $1 million grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa(SEFA) to create a Super Energy Service Company(ESCO). The Super ESCO by (KPLC) will develop and implement energy efficiency projects for both the public and private sectors.
Super ESCOs are vehicles for channelling funds into public sector energy efficiency investments such as hospitals, schools, and street lighting, laying the foundation for private investment later in the commercial and industrial sectors.