What you need to know:
- Kenya Power and the ER are working on a harmonised tariff to address the public’s concerns.
- Kenya Power enjoys monopoly in the distribution of electricity and has come under the spotlight in the past one month.
A workers’ union has blamed interference with Kenya Power Company’s new billing system for the major hiccups electricity consumers have been experiencing.
The Kenya Electrical Trades and Allied Workers Union General Secretary Ernest Nadome said interference with the new Integrated Consumer Management System (ICMS) is to be blame for the metering complaints raised by clients.
“There is deliberate meddling with the new ICMS, which has failed Kenyans.
"Not because of lazy workers who are not doing actual reading as claimed by Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter. There are people within the ministry and Kenya Power who are behind this and citizens must know,” he said in a briefing.
This came as Energy officials said Kenya will enjoy low power bills starting July.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and Kenya Power on Thursday said they are working on a harmonised tariff to address the public’s concerns.
Two weeks ago, Kenyans protested unavailability of electricity tokens for prepaid users, with a number of customers lacking electricity for days despite making payments.
Consumers have also had to grapple with over-billing experienced towards the end of last year and early 2018.
Mr Nadome said the company used its old system to base readings on estimates because it lacked capacity to read all meters across the country.
Kenya Power enjoys monopoly in the distribution of electricity and has come under the spotlight in the past one month.
But appearing before the Senate committee on Energy to respond to the public outcry over inflated power bills, Energy Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge, Kenya Power Managing Director Ken Tarus and ERC Managing Director Robert Oimeke promised that the new harmonised tariff will be ready by July and the public will not get inflated bills any more.
Mr Njoroge attributed the inflated bills to a number of factors, including the prolonged drought between January and March that led to the drop of water level in Masinga dam by 16m, thereby pushing the cost of producing power higher.
He said sometimes Kenya Power relies on estimates to bill their customers, which also leads to the variations in bills.
Njoroge also cited faulty meters that either move faster or slower than usual.
Nominated Senator Mary Seneta accused Kenya Power of subjecting Kenyans to untold suffering through their poor billing system.