Kenyans To Pay More For Electricity Starting April, In New Tariff Revision By EPRA
Kenyans will dig deeper into their pockets to pay electricity bills if the energy sector regulator approves new tariffs from Kenya power starting April. The power and lighting company is seeking an upward review of power prices to upgrade its transmission network and boost profits.
According to the monopoly company, the upward review of 78 percent will see Kenyans using under 30Kilowatts per month pay Sh28.01 per unit, from the current Sh20.70. These prices are however based on the current levies in power bills such as fuel and forex. In case these levies increase, the price per unit will go up.
Those consuming 50-kilowatt hours a month and currently carrying the heaviest burden after subsidy withdrawal will pay Sh36.92 per unit from the current Sh20.70.
“There is a proposal to revise the Life-Line (subsidy) consumption band for both small commercial and domestic customers from the current 100kWh/month to 30kWh/month. This will align the objectives of the lifeline/social tariff customer category with the correct social class normally defined by the income level,” stated Kenya Power & Lighting Company.
After EPRA’s approval, Middle-class households will pay more than poor households, with no plugged gadgets such as home appliances and other major power-consuming machinery. According to Kenya Power, the middle class has been enjoying the subsidy set for poor households.
Justified Cost Rise
Even with the already high cost of living, KPLC is adamant that this is the right time to rise the power cost in order to sustain operations. Kenya power says the review has not been done since 2018, and therefore, the current prices households are working with lapsed in 2019.
In 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered a cut in prices after a public uproar. According to the agreement between the president and the company, the cut was supposed to last until July 2019, only for it to be extended up to 2023. The removal of the electricity subsidy is also catalyzing the review.
Also, the rise in prices is poised at allowing the utility to restart dividends. The Power company says it last paid dividends in 2017. According to the Auditor General’s report in 2022, the utility company remains in a negative working capital position for the sixth year consecutively.
The move will not only see households paying more for their electricity consumption, but will also see businesses and industries suffer the high cost of production that will definitely be passed down to the consumer.
The Law provides that electricity tariffs be reviewed every three years. However, in recent years, this has seen disruption by the state, seeking the company to ease inflation in households and businesses.