Uhuru Moves to Tame Kenya Power's High Electricity Costs

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta during a previous press briefing
    President Uhuru Kenyatta during a previous press briefing
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta has appointed a task force to review power purchase agreements between Kenya Power and electricity generators.

    This follows claims that the increased costs of electricity were a result of purchases made by Kenya Power from private firms at an inflated cost.

    The special taskforce, headed by John Ngumi, comprises of 16 members and three joint secretaries, who will comprehensively review the terms of all Power Purchase Agreements entered into by KPLC.

    The taskforce is expected to report to the president through the Cabinet Sub-Committee on matters regarding Kenya Power.

    Energy CS Charles Keter (third from right) and other dignitaries at the Suswa High Voltage Direct Current Converter Substation.
    Energy CS Charles Keter (third from right) and other dignitaries at the Suswa High Voltage Direct Current Converter Substation.

    They will also investigate the compliance of the PPAs with government regulations and policies and decide whether to terminate or renegotiate.

    The Ministry of Energy had also set up a team that would review all the existing Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) signed with independent power producers explaining details on how much the generators are paid for by Kenya Power for the electricity sold to them.

    Garissa Town MP Aden Duale reported to the National Assembly that private producers sold electricity to Kenya Power at Ksh23 per kilowatt-hour, while KenGen offered the same at Ksh0.50.

    “In this irregular arrangement, the IPPs normally purchase electricity from KenGen at Ksh0.50 per kilowatt-hour before offloading it to Kenya Power at an inflated rate of Ksh23 per kilowatt-hour,” Duale stated.

    He further added that Kenya Power had not upheld its objective of supplying the Kenyan economy with affordable electricity but had instead, "presided over a massively inflated power supply regime that has retrogressive effects on the already overburdened taxpayers and businesses."

    Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter formed the Standing Committee on Review and Renegotiation of PPAs urging them to renegotiate with power producers and review any footprint that may have put the government at a disadvantage when engaging with private sector players.

    “The committee will develop a suitable strategy to engage the power generators in renegotiations for sustainable solutions for the energy sector and economy - as well as review committed generation projects with a view of transitioning to Energy Auction,” explained Keter.

    He, however, dismantled the 13-member committee shortly after, stating that the ministry needed to involve key stakeholders in achieving lower costs of energy in the country, and universal access to electricity.

    “It is notified for the general information of the public that the CS for Energy has revoked the appointment of the Standing Committee on the Review and Re-negotiations of PPAs that was appointed (through a gazette notice on) March 12, 2021.

    “We are seeking to involve the Treasury, the Attorney General’s office, and senior officials in the sector. The task force will be in office for three to six months and are expected to come up with recommendations that will cushion the energy sector,” Keter stated on public notice.

    Kenya Power engineers carry out repairs at a power sub-station in Mombasa County in 2018