Why your electricity bill is set to go higher despite govt promise to lower power prices

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Kenya Power employees repair a transformer in Mukuru Kwa Njenga PHOTO | COURTESY

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has once again raised the cost of power for January citing higher fuel costs due to inflation despite an uproar by Kenyans in the last few weeks.

 The regulator has raised the inflation adjustment cost to 85 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) from 67 cents. This component is adjusted every six months.

“Pursuant to Clause 3 of Part III of the Schedule of Tariffs 2018, notice is given that all prices for electrical energy specified in Part II of the said Schedule will be liable to an inflation adjustment of plus 85 cents per kWh for all meter readings taken in January—June 2023,” the regulator has said in a gazette notice.

Annual inflation hit 9.06 percent in December last year driven by high costs of fuel, food, cooking gas and electricity. EPRA had noted that Kengen, the main producer of electricity in the country incurred an extra cost of Sh753.99 million in the six months to December due to inflation. Independent Power Producers (IPPs)  on the other hand incurred Sh1.14 billion  in extra costs.

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What this means is that electricity consumers who are already burdened with the high costs of power will receive fewer units for the same amount of money as compared to last month.

The move by EPRA comes ahead of a price review of the cost of electricity following the expiry of a subsidy on power that had been put in place by the Uhuru Kenyatta administration. The subsidy ended on December 31 but the government has decided not to reinstate the previous high tariffs until a proper review is done.

Just last week, President William Ruto promised that the government will create a proper framework that will lower electricity tariffs once and for all.

“In three months, we will have public consultation to ensure that we have tariffs that are affordable to those at the bottom of the economic pyramid and our manufacturers,” said the head of state.

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