The cost of electricity is set to go up in April if a proposal by Kenya Power to review tariffs is approved by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA).
The retail tariff application (2023-2026) which Kenya Power has presented on behalf of other players in the energy sector will see the cost of power for domestic consumers go up by between 13-20 per cent.
In the new tariffs which are inclusive of levies and taxes, Kenya Power has separated the 8.7 million domestic customers into two life-line consumption bands (0-30 and 30-100 kilowatt-hours).
This is a departure from the current arrangement where all the domestic consumers are in one band, 0-100 kwh.
Consumers under the new life-line consumption band of below 30 kwh per month will pay Sh20.5 per unit up from the current Sh18.14 signifying a 13 percent increase.
Kenya Power General Manager in charge of Power Planning and Purchase John Mbuthia said out of the Sh20.5, Sh14 is the consumption charge meaning Sh6.5 will go towards taxes and levies.
According to Mbuthia, if the new tariff proposals are approved, ordinary domestic consumers whose usage exceeds 30kwh per month will pay Sh26.4 per unit up from the current Sh22 signifying a 20 percent increase.
Consumers spending Sh300 on power, he added, will get 14.6 units compared to the current 16.5 units while those spending Sh1, 000 will get 37.8 units from 45.45 units currently.
Speaking in Kisumu during a public participation drive on the proposal, Mbuthia said the Water Resource Management Authority (WARMA) levy which has increased from Sh0.05/kwh to Sh2 will also reflect on consumers’ bills.
He said a VAT charge of Sh2.9 for lifeline users and Sh4 for ordinary domestic consumers will apply.
Other proposals in the application, he said include the bulk tariff which is specially tailored for those who purchase power in bulk to distribute to a smaller cluster of consumers.
Operators of electric vehicles which are gaining traction in the country will be given incentives to help the sector grow with the introduction of a new e-mobility tariff package.
Manufacturers, he added, will also have a special tariff during off peak hours (at night) to help promote the sector.
Kenya Power General Manager in charge of Regional Coordination Eng. Peter Njenga said the new tariffs target to boost revenue collections for the power utility firm to enhance efficiency and reliability.
This, he said, will take care of the company’s budget of procuring power from KenGen and other small producers and at the same time support the government’s initiative to connect more households.
He said the last tariff review was done in 2018 adding that the company has undertaken major infrastructural works which has seen the customer base increase from 2 million in 2012 to 9 million in 2022.
The proposals in the tariff review period 2023-2026, he said, were justified to shoulder the cost of the expansion and ensure better service delivery to consumers.
Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) Director General Daniel Kiptoo said the agency was collecting views from members of the public across the country before retreating to look at the proposal before it is approved.
Kiptoo said EPRA was satisfied with the proposed projects to be undertaken by Kenya Power using the enhanced revenues adding that the views of members of the public shall be incorporated.
If approved, he said EPRA will gazette the new tariffs to take effect on 1st April 2023.
Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kisumu Chapter Chairman Israel Agina said the proposals were hefty and will hit hard on the bulk of electricity consumers in the country.
“These rates are going to affect domestic consumers who constitute 8.6 million of Kenya Power’s customer base and there is a need for EPRA to review them,” he said.
He said though it was a good move to give manufacturers a special tariff to operate at night, he argued the move was likely to interrupt supply for other consumers since most of them were likely to shift their operations to the off peak hours.
By Chris Mahandara