The Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) is now obligated to compensate consumers whose electronic devices are damaged by a power surge.
According to Charles Keter, the Energy Cabinet secretary, the recently approved Energy Law requires KPLC to shoulder the costs and pay for all the electronic gadgets destroyed during power surges, which always happen regularly.
“Kenyans should no longer worry over the loss of their gadgets as it is now a requirement in law they be compensated for the losses,” said Keter during the Senate Energy Committee on March 13.
The law is somewhat similar to the bill rejected by President Uhuru Kenyatta to have the company compensate Kenyans for blackouts lasting more than three hours. Then, President Uhuru said that the bill needed amendments from the Members of Parliament.
The Energy Bill 2015, was proposed by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir who claimed that Kenya Power should cater for any losses caused by blackouts exceeding three hours, in case it did not issue a 24-hour notice prior to such an outage.
The bill also included compensation for physical injuries and the compensation was to be settled in the form of a subsidy incorporated in the customer’s bill.
For those who suffer physical injuries, the compensation was to be determined by the court. It was to be equal to the amount of loss incurred as presented by the consumer and verified by KPLC.
The new Energy Law, like the Energy Bill 2015, will cushion commercial building owners, manufacturers, warehouses, farmers, and other small businesses such as salons and barber shops, which are the most hit whenever disruption in power occurs.
During the Senate Committee, CS Keter also stated that the cost of electricity will be marginally reduced in 2019 immediately after the majority of power-generating projects are completed.
Pending projects, which are near completion include the Lake Turkana Wind power project that is set to add up to 300 Mega Watts into the national grid. The project will significantly supplement the existing power generated.
Several changes in power supply were made in 2018 including the scrapping off of standing charges and the reduction of the cost of power.
Although the reduction was negligible, users began paying fuel cost charge of 4.75 shillings per unit of power, a marginal drop from the 4.95 shillings per unit charged previously. According to the CS, the ministry of energy targets to set the charge at 2.31 shillings a unit.
Meanwhile, the CS also said to the committee, which was chaired by Ephraim Maina, that the government and the Lake Turkana Wind Power had entered into a Power Purchase Agreement, for the design, financing, procurement, construction, installation, and testing.