Electricity prices for some poor Kenyan households could rise by up to 117 percent should the country’s energy regulator approves a tariff review proposal by Kenya Power aimed at generating more cash for the utility firm.

In October last year, Kenya Power made a tariff review application to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) for higher energy charge tariffs that will be in place for the next three years.

The new tariffs are expected to take effect on April 1.

The utility firm has for years pushed for a review of the current power tariffs, arguing that its revenue requirements have grown sharply despite income from electricity remaining the same, forcing it to rely on increasing sales.

Revenue requirements

“In order to achieve this broad mandate, there is a need for an electricity retail tariff that is just and reasonable to allow Kenya Power Company to maintain its financial integrity, attract capital, operate efficiently and compensate investors for risks assumed,” said the company.“The rationale of this retail tariff review is to incorporate change in electricity sub-sector cost structure and update key assumption with an aim of providing adequate sector revenue requirements,” it said.

Epra has now scheduled public participation for scrutiny of the tariff in which the utility company has proposed the introduction of a new tariff of KSh14 ($0.11) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for customers who use less than 30 units of power monthly.

It also wants to introduce a tariff of KSh21.68 ($0.17) per kWh for those who use more than 30 units monthly.

In the current tariff that was approved in November 2018 – which was temporarily cut by Epra in January last year – customers who use less than 100 units per month pay KSh10 ($0.081)per kWh and those who use more than that amount pay KSh15.8 ($0.13) per unit.

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