Energy regulator’s plan to reduce power bills
Electricity consumers will in the near future have to purchase electricity tokens in bulk to benefit from proposed tariff changes by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
In the proposal, the energy regulator has introduced a domestic lifeline category to 3.6 million customers consuming 15 units and below who will enjoy a 21% reduction cost cumulatively in the new tariff.
However, consumers below 200 units will be charged more, unless they purchase tokens in bulk or consume more power to enjoy the reduced costs under the domestic ordinary category.
For instance, it will be more expensive for a prepaid consumer of 100 units per month to buy tokens for on a monthly basis compared to 3 months or more at a go.
ERC estimates that the cost of power tariffs in the domestic ordinary category of consumers below 1500 units will go down by 6.8% subject to approval.
Small commercial category has also been split into two based on consumption with their cumulative tariff cost expected to go down by 11 percent.
Kenyans have over the years raised concerns over inconsistent power bills, a variance the energy regulator attributed to graduated tariff structure for domestic consumers and application of fixed charges.
“The fixed cost charge which is part of the tariff which is part of what Kenyans pay, we are going to do away with them to make sure that at the end of every month when you buy your tokens or pay fro your electricity, the cost of unit does not change,” said Pavel Oimeke, ERC Director General.
Going forward, this will be a thing of the past following the introduction of harmonized electricity tariffs doing away with the 150 shillings fixed charge.
The ERC is conducting nationwide stakeholder engagements before the adoption of new tariffs by the end of the month.
“We will look at the applications and the feedback we are getting from the stakeholders and there after the commission will meet to announce the tariff to Kenyans and that will be applicable for the billing of 1st of July once we finalise the exercise,”said Oimeke.