Bills are our responsibilities. As long as you are using a certain service or product, remember to appreciate not by shaking the providers hand but handing money to them. After a night out or lunch with friends, the host issues a bill to the customer who in most cases take their time to go through it detail for detail, just in case someone squeezed in a bottle of water or an extra scoop of ice cream.
Well, it is not the case with the infamous electricity bill from the one and only Kenya Power and Lighting Company. What happened to the establishment of another KPLC? Anyway, with weird payment bits printed on these bills, you wouldn’t tell what month you paid for what neighbor or vice versa. At least many of us wouldn’t.
Being a monopoly, Kenyans do not expect to be educated or informed on rights, benefits and all the company has to offer in return for your hard earned money. Again, they are not in a position to because of outdated Single-Supplier Model used by Kenya. I totally agree with my colleague Stefan Wolf who recently covered ‘10 Things you need to know to Ask about electricity tariffs’. A very educative read on what Kenyans really are missing out on and why. KPLC must be the luckiest firm under the sun.
Tarrif determination process is one of the things that caught my eye. It is best determined through a veritable process of transparency that best serves the public interest- this should be accountable and participatory. Many Kenyans have definitely encountered the company in one way or the other that felt uncared for and if only tariff determination was in the package, twitter would not tell the whole world how bad their services are each time the bulb goes off. How does the tariff support energy efficiency, demand-side management, and demand-response measures? Another one highlighted on the article which would cater for simple needs of reconnection and actual energy saving trends. However, since we have not the right standards of service to allow such customer care, Kenya power will always win on this one.
The company is not known for great deals. Not at all. I was surprised to learn that the company is actually decreasing connection fee down to ksh1,160 from a whooping ksh35,000 the figures talk for themselves and they say ‘Too good to be true’. The move comes after Kenya Power and Lighting Company partnered World Bank and African Development Bank in the project ‘Stima Rahisi’ meant to connect more Kenyans to the grid. The project will see World Bank pay ksh19,350 a share of the whole amount and Kenya power ksh11,970 which adds up to ksh33,840 and ksh1,160 only left for the customer to pay.
The move may seem to be at the public’s best interest and so unrealistic at the same time. Kenya Power however is still winning since more Kenyans on the grid means more revenue generated by the company. With conditions for ‘stima rahisi’ not out yet, the cheap deal is without a doubt going to close with a lot of disclaimers in it. The term ‘less fortunate’ people in the society has not been defined which is only left for them to control and for Kenyans to wait for favour to fall on them even if energy for the marginalised is a definite right in other parts of the world.
Kenyans dreading another Kipipiri power project, fingers are crossed hoping the project turns out genuine.