Cooking gas users in Kenya will now be forced to stick to their brands with the window to exchange with different brands during refills having been closed by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority.
The new law now bans oil marketers from accepting gas cylinders from rival brands during refills as a way of fighting counterfeits in the sector.
According to the Energy ministry, the new law is meant to restore safety by minimizing opportunities for illegal refilling, illegal rebranding, and counterfeiting of gas cylinders that has become rampant across the country.
Kenyans will no longer exchange their gas cylinders for a different brand at their local dealerships as the government tries to pull most Kenyans from the use of firewood to use of gas.
“The mandatory interchange of LPG cylinders has seen brands lose track of 90 percent of the cylinders they had invested in, stalling investment in further cylinders, and seeing legal checks set aside as nameless refillers resold cylinders, but could not be made accountable for safety breaches,” said Mr. Pavel Oimeke, Director General of the Energy and Regulatory Authority.
The government, has in the past few years, been trying to roll out an affordable gas program in an effort to move Kenyans from using firewood and charcoal and embrace the use of gas. The move has, however, has been hit with corruption allegations.
Stats show that 60 percent of Kenyan households use firewood for heating and this has seen an impact on the forest cover in the country. Kenya’s forest cover is said to be less than 6 percent and efforts are underway to conserve the trees.
The new regulations on the refill of cylinders leave some Kenyans at a loss, especially those with cylinders that are not so common and hard to find. Before the new regulations, Kenyans would exchange their cylinders with any brand of their choice