Electricity costs have increased rapidly in the month of January draining pockets of ordinary citizens. Data released shows that the power bills have increased up to 22% over the past months. Consumers are facing 8.1 Billion backdated bills as Kenya Power moves to recover the huge amount of money incurred on diesel generators last year.
In their annual financial statement, KPLC revealed the huge bills explaining that the severe drought experienced last year led to the rise in power costs which necessitated a surge in the uptake of expensive diesel-generated power that compensated for a sharp dip in hydro power production. In their annual statement for the financial year that ended in June 2017, the bill is identified as part of the 10.1 billion fuel cost that was unrecovered.
So far, about 2 billion shillings have been recovered leaving the remaining 8.1 billion shillings that will be passed on to consumers as monthly costs. The state owned company was made to absorb the fuel costs in the months leading up to the elections held on August 8 last year building up the arrears over the period. Consumers pay a fuel cost charge via their monthly bills . Fuel cost levy goes up when thermal power intake increases. Between the months of February and August last year, the fuel levy got stuck at Sh2.85 per kilowatt hour despite the intake of thermal power increasing.
Last month KPLC was sued by consumers represented by Apollo and Co Advocates and obtained a court order barring the company from recovering those backdated bills until the case is heard and determined. The report explains that diesel-generated power is expensive and only produced when there is shortage of low cost hydro power and available geothermal energy. Consumers have been and will continue bearing the burden of the backdated bills.