What you need to know:
- Ben Chumo says the government has offered to connect everyone.
- He asks those waiting for a connection to be patient.
You will no longer need to submit an application to Kenya Power for an electricity connection.
The company's managing director, Ben Chumo, has said President Uhuru Kenyatta's declaration that all households be connected at subsidized fees means connections will be done without needing to apply.
Mr Chumo asked those living 600 metres from transformers to be patient as they would benefit from the subsequent phases of the programme.
“An application is like requesting to be connected. But the government has offered to connect everyone. There is therefore no need for applications,” said Mr Chumo.
On Madaraka Day, President Kenyatta directed that the connection cost be dropped from Sh35,000 to Sh15,000.
The President said he had commissioned 40,000 transformers in a project that aims to light up every village.
“And even that smaller sum can be paid in installments, so that every Kenyan has the power he needs to improve and to prosper by investing in enterprises that add value,” President Kenyatta said, adding that the project complements the school electrification programme which aims to connect all public schools to the grid.
Mr Chumo said Kenya Power had surveyed regions across the country to determine where transformers would be placed.
He said applicants will now identify a transformer that is 600 metres, or less, from their homes and notify the engineers when the installation begins.
The first phase of connection, spanning 18 months will begin in September through the distribution of 5,320 transformers.
“All we are asking now is that those who will not benefit from the first connection should wait because phase two is coming,” he said in an interview.
Mr Chumo said Kenyans who are unable to pay will be given a grace period of up to 36 months to ensure that the poor are not left out of the electrification process.
The Kenya Power MD said the country requires nearly 100,000 transformers in order to sufficiently provide power. The government intends to connect 1.5 million Kenyans to electricity by 2019.
He said those who had been given quotations earlier should ignore them and use the new rates. The company, he added, is also investigating ways of reducing the number of blackouts.
“We can find an alternative way so that we don’t have to switch off power when rectifying mistakes,” he said.