The Ministry of Energy has announced that the cost of purchasing Kenya Power Limited Company (KPLC) electricity tokens will fall in January 2024.
In a media interview on Wednesday, December 13, Energy Principal Secretary (PS) Alex Wachira explained that the ministry has laid strategies to reduce the prices of electricity next year.
“There will be a reduction, EPRA is still doing the numbers so I cannot promise an exact number. But we certainly expect that there will be a reduction of the power cost,” said Wachira.
Wachira mentioned that the KPLC is doing more hydro-power production as opposed to thermo-production due to the improved levels of hydrology and dams.
This he said, has increased the renewable energy composition from 92% to around 96%.
Consequently, he stated that KPLC generates only 4% from our thermo-plants compared to the between 8% to 10% produced during the low hydrology.
According to the PS, these changes will affect consumers’ December power bills which will be paid in January 2024.
“I can look Kenyans in the eye and tell them that your power bill in the coming month (January) the prices will be slightly lower because of the impact of us generating more power using hydropower as opposed to thermos-production,” said Wachira.
Transmission Losses Impact
Further, he explained that the cost of electricity is high since KPLC incurs costs of generation, transmission, distribution, and the transmission losses.
He explained that the ministry in collaboration with KPLC is working to reduce the transmission losses which will in turn reduce the cost of electricity.
“We are hoping to move the transmission losses from 22.4% to about 17% in the next three or four years.
If we can be able to reduce these transmission losses then they will directly translate into your power bills,” he explained.
Why KPLC Tokens are High
Also, Wachira said the cost of electricity is high due to the removal of the 15% waver done in 2022.
According to the PS, the taxpayers have been paying for the waiver since KPLC can afford to buy electricity at a higher price and sell it to us consumers at a lower price.
“Somebody has to take of this difference. Either KPLC records the loss and foots it, or we get from the taxpayer to cover this deficit,” he said.
He said the taxes collected by the government was already overwhelmed and could finance the waiver.
“You can imagine the tax that we are collecting is what we are using to pay civil servants salaries, do development, fund infrastructure, repay loans and you add this waiver,” he explained.
Further, he said with the shrinking tax collection, the government had to choose between increasing the tax or removing this waiver.
Chirchir Under Siege
These revelations come at a time when politicians drawn from both Kenya Kwanza and Azimio Coalition have called for the resignation of Energy CS Davis Chirchir.
Besides, the leaders have asked President William Ruto to fire CS Chirchir over the high-cost fuel.
Some of the leaders who have asked Ruto sack Chichir include former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki and Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa.
Odinga accused Chirchir of corruption over the government-to-government oil deal.
On the other hand, Barasa slammed the CS for hinting at a power rationing to solve the constant blackouts in the country.
The MP attacked Chirchir for suggesting that the prices of fuel might go as a high as Ksh.300.