Kenya power will no longer provide pre-paid consumers with a breakdown of their electricity bills, denying households an opportunity to interrogate their payment statement.
Consumers now receive payment statements via their phones showing costs and units purchased and lumps together with other charges like the monthly variable items like fuel and foreign exchange adjustments expenses.
It is now difficult for consumers to establish whether the costing on their bills matches the unit prices for various items like tax, regulatory levies, and other searches with data published monthly in Kenya Gazetted by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA).
The charges have been lumped together and appear as other charges in payment statements sent to the mobile phones of more the six million Kenya Power consumers hooked to the pre-paid billing system.
The utility provided details on payment of value-added tax previously, EPRA levy, inflation adjustment, water regulator fees as well as foreign exchange and fuel adjustment surcharges
Due to low water levels in the county’s hydro-electric dams, have been blamed for the rise in fuel surcharge and forex adjustment costs, a wobbly shillings, and heavy reliance on diesel-powered generators to produce electricity.
Consumers are unable to gauge how the use of expansive thermal electricity on the national grid is affecting electricity prices, without details of fuel costs.
According to EPRA, September data revealed that Kenya Power had picked the highest proportion of the expensive thermal power in more than a year while reserving the lowest slot for the cheaper geothermal power.
Recently, Kenya Power was on the spot for giving preference to expensive thermal power over cheaper options such as geothermal and hydro, effectively setting up consumers for higher electricity prices.
As a result, consumers paid a higher cost charge, which is influenced by the share of electricity from diesel generators of 2.6 shillings per kilowatt-hour up from the 3.4 shillings since May 2020.
On 5th September this year, a technical team at the energy regulator agreed to higher electricity prices in the wake of a renewed push by Kenya Power to have the charges increased by at least 20 percent.
According to sources at the Energy and Petroleum Authority (EPR) the regulator had agreed to offer the utility a tariff hike, more than one year after Kenya Power submitted its application.
The higher tariffs will be revealed in the coming weeks and subjected to public participation before they take effect through a Kenya gazette announcement after final approval by EPRA.