The Consumers Federation of Kenya has demanded a 20% reduction in home electricity costs.
Stephen Mutoro, the secretary-general of Cofek, said in a statement on Thursday that the Federation strongly disagrees with Kenya Power’s proposal to increase electricity rates.
“It doesn’t make sense that Kenya Power seeks an increase in tariffs every time. Yet, with the increasing use of technology, and the use of renewables on the grid, the cost of power should be going down,” he said.
“Most of the new capacity being added to the grid is from renewables – geothermal, wind, solar, biomass. As such, there is no justification for higher tariffs.”
Cofek rejects the suggested electricity pricing because it will affect Kenyans, according to Mutoro.
Mutoro believes Kenya Power’s general laziness, a crumbling network, and a lack of metres are some of the causes of the utility’s excessive expenses.
If Kenya intends to lower electricity prices, according to Mutoro, renegotiating Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with privately owned producers who are now providing power to Kenya Power at excessive prices must be a top priority.
He stated that it has been determined by the Auditor General that power from KenGen is purchased on average for Sh3 per Kw/h.
Compared to KenGen, he claimed, the cost of power from privately owned generators is more than four times higher.
“The planned closure of thermal plants whose PPAs have expired must continue without fear or favour. We, therefore, ask for the immediate shutdown of the Kipevu 1 thermal power plant whose PPA has expired,” he said.
He continued by saying that EPRA could not proceed with the Kenya Power proposal without disclosing technical and financial losses.
According to him, the monthly cap for the lifeline band for low-income households should remain at 100 units.
The 30 kwh cut-off, according to Cofek, is excessively low and will exclude many low-income households.
Cofek asserted that they seek an immediate end to the classification of consumers based on a three-month average, in which those whose consumption exceeds 100 units are indefinitely moved to a higher rate.
He urged EPRA and the Ministry of Energy to continue acting in Kenyans’ best interests rather than those of avaricious IPPs.