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HOW KENYA POWER PROPOSAL WILL KNOCK OUT MANY FROM LIFELINE BAND

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• Currently the power tariffs for domestic consumers are categorized into two major bands, lifeline consumers who consume zero to 100 units per month and those that consume over 100 units monthly.
• Kenya Power is proposing to reduce the lifeline band from zero to 30 units and increase the charge on that from Ksh.10 to Ksh.14 per unit.

A proposal by Kenya Power to review power tariffs could see at least 1.9 million customers knocked off from the lifeline band that currently assures them of the cheapest rate of power.

In a proposal to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), Kenya Power is seeking to raise revenues to meet contractual obligations for power purchases and to meet what it terms increased power transmission costs.

The proposed changes could see consumers receive nearly half of the tokens they currently receive with the same payment.

Currently the power tariffs for domestic consumers are categorized into two major bands, lifeline consumers who consume zero to 100 units per month and those that consume over 100 units monthly and consumers who use up to one hundred units per month pay Ksh.10 per unit.

Now, Kenya Power is proposing to reduce the lifeline band from zero to 30 units and increase the charge on that from Ksh.10 to Ksh.14 per unit. It is also proposing to abolish the high consumers’ band and replace it with a single one, for all consumers who use over 30 units per month. They will pay Ksh.21.68 per unit.

At the moment, consumers who use over 100 units per month are charged Ksh.15.8 per unit as per approved rates.

Currently, out of the 9.1 million domestic consumers, 8.2 million are in the 0 to 100 units per month category, the band proposed for abolishment.

There are 900,000 users in the over 100 band while consumers of 30 units and below stand at 6.3 million.

In the beginning of the year, President William Ruto promised there would be no reviews of the power tariffs, to accommodate various social classes in society.

Kenya Power says the proposal will align the objectives of the lifeline/social tariff customer category with the correct social class normally defined by level of income.

Following price reductions from the electricity subsidy introduced by former President Uhuru Kenyatta, the same amount earned the customer 68.6 units in January 2022, up until August and early September 2022.

When President Ruto assumed office, the units were reduced to 59 following a review of forex and fuel charges.

The units have been reduced to 56 units in January for the same amount.
By Jane Kibathi.