Kenya Power faces fines for irregular power cuts

Utility firm Kenya Power is expected to face new fines for irregular power cuts to customers according to new draft regulations by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA).

According to the draft 2021, electricity reliability, quality of supply and service regulations published by the sector regulator on Tuesday, power should be interrupted for planned maintenance purposes and emergency cases only.

Even so, should the draft regulations be adopted, Kenya Power is required to notify consumers at least two days prior to the planned interruption.

“A distribution and retail supply licensee shall inform the consumer of the intended disconnection or interruption, and stipulate the date and intended duration of the disruption through appropriate means including public notices on print media, radio broadcasts, electronic mail and SMS,” reads part of the regulations.

Kenya Power is nevertheless allowed to discontinue power supply without notice in the case of emergency but is required to rectify the situation and advise its customers in a timely manner.

Moreover, Kenya Power will be obligated to file an assessment of power interruptions with EPRA on a monthly and annual basis including the average number of items any given customer experiences interruption over a period.

Additionally, the utility company is required to file the average interruption duration for each customer served during the period under review.

Failure to achieve retail supply license guaranteed performance standards will round off to fines ranging from fines per violation to blanket annual penalties.

The contravention of voltage limits and harmonic distortions of power supply will for instance results in fines of Ksh.1000 for each violation recorded.

At the same time, the contravention of reliability indicators on the frequency and duration of interruptions will attract fines of Ksh.20,000 annually.

Kenya Power is further required to furnish EPRA with complaints filed by customers on the quality of electricity supplied including property damages incurred, financial losses, bodily injury or loss of life.

At present, Kenya Power published notices on planned power interruptions on its website a few hours to the planned disruptions.

Nevertheless, part of interruptions recorded by customers have not been covered in the prior notices while some interruptions have exceeded the duration stated in the notices.

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