Senator Sifuna Fronts Bill to Reduce Electricity Cost

A KPLC technician during a routine transformer maintenance.
A Kenya Power technician during routine transformer maintenance.
Kenya Power

Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna is preparing to front a bill seeking to amend sections of the Energy Act, 2019 as the legislator renews his wrangle against cartels in the energy sector who he has accused of having a hand in high electricity prices.

The Bill, which the legislator has already published seeks, to achieve 3 main objectives. This includes barring Kenya Power from signing a new Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) without establishing the need for new capacity.

Similarly, the legislation also seeks to bar Kenya Power from granting generation licenses to any entity that does not disclose its beneficial owners.

"I’m hoping the same will receive support from all," the Senator said in a statement.

Edwin Sifuna taking oath of office in parliament on September 8, 2022
Edwin Sifuna taking oath of office in parliament on September 8, 2022

Further, Sifuna also wants to have Kenya Power compelled to prioritize power from cheaper green generators as opposed to thermal sources. 

Sifuna's bill aimed at curbing powerful cartels in the power generation sector, has been in development for some time. 

In August, reports surfaced indicating that the legislator had drafted an amendment to the Energy Act with the goal of strengthening regulations, citing concerns about high electricity prices for Kenyan consumers. 

During that period, the Senator accused the power company of favoring partnerships with costly thermal power generators over more affordable green generators.

"In my time as a member of the Senate Energy Committee I have come to learn of a very powerful office at KPLC called a “dispatcher". A person who has a view of all our power generation plants and decides whose power is “dispatched” (added to the grid) and when," Sifuna said in a statement.

In line with this objective, the Senator disclosed his preparedness to amend the Energy Act, specifically targeting increased transparency, particularly regarding the dispatcher role. 

The Nairobi Senator voiced concerns about the infiltration of a potent energy cartel within the sector, which had obstructed the prioritisation of five crucial power grid lines essential for ensuring a more reliable national grid.

These concerns arose in response to persistent power outages experienced in various parts of the country.

Sifuna stressed that the proposed bill would address the issue of influential cartels within Kenya Power, underscoring the urgency of these measures amid the backdrop of recurring power disruptions.

Photo of Kenya Senate
Photo of Kenya senate
Parliament of Kenya