How Kenya Power Buys Electricity at Inflated Cost - Duale

  • Kenya Power Building in Nairobi CBD
    Kenya Power Building in Nairobi CBD.
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  • The Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter was put to task to explain the high cost of power in Kenya after claims emerged that Kenya Power purchases electricity from private firms at an inflated cost.

    Garissa Town MP Aden Duale told the National Assembly that independent power producers sell electricity to Kenya Power at Ksh 23 per kilowatt-hour, while KenGen offers the same at Ksh 0.50.

    “In this irregular arrangement, the IPPs normally purchase electricity from KenGen at Ksh 0.50 per kilowatt-hour before offloading it to Kenya Power at an inflated rate of Ksh 23 per kilowatt-hour,” Duale spoke in the National Assembly. 

    Garissa MP Aden Duale.
    Garissa MP Aden Duale.
    File

    The MP, through the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Energy also asked CS Keter to reveal how much money has been paid to the IPPs since the contracts were signed.

    “Rather than pursue the objective of supplying the Kenyan economy with affordable electricity, Kenya Power has, on the contrary, presided over a massively inflated power supply regime that has retrogressive effects on the already overburdened taxpayers and business,” the MP added.

    According to the deal with IPPs, the producers inject power into the national grid whenever the demand rises.

    However, if the excess power is not utilised, Kenya Power has to pay for the idle electricity and passes the cost to users.

    The rising cost of electricity has seen many Kenyans switch to solar power as companies try to cut down their huge power bills.

    Keter, on Wednesday, March 10, during a meeting with the Senate Committee on Energy said that the transmission of the electricity which goes to far ends of the country had technical limitations.

    The CS was also at pains to explain rampant blackouts across the country. 

    He explained that Kenya Power has to cut electricity supply to some regions to feed other areas with stable power.

    In Western Kenya, the available transmission line to evacuate power from geothermal fields at Olkaria is aged.

    This raises fears that if used, the amount of power transmission losses would be much higher, making the power costlier.

    File image of Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter
    File image of Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter
    Capital Group