Electricity costs have risen for the second month in a row, owing to rising oil prices and a weak Kenyan shilling. With inflation at an all-time high, this further burdens Kenyans already suffering from the high cost of living.
Friday, October 21, 2022, saw a rise in the fuel and foreign exchange components of the power bill from the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) in a gazette notice.
The Foreign Exchange Fluctuation Adjustment (FEFA) will increase to Ksh1.48 per unit from Ksh1.37 in September, while the Fuel Cost Charge (FCC) will increase to Ksh7.09 from Ksh6.79 per unit of energy consumed this month.
The national demand for electricity hit a new peak demand of 2,051MW up from 2,036MW recorded in November 2021, pointing to accelerated growth and recovery in demand which slowed down in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Daily Power Generation and Dispatch Analysis Report released on May 19, 2022, by EPRA, the country’s highest energy gross demand was recorded on May 18 2022, registering a 2.5% growth to record a new peak of 37,273.17MWh up from 36,380.63MWh in November last year.
Since January, the fuel cost charge remained steady at Ksh4.63 per unit, while forex adjustment averaged 73 cents during the preceding eight months. The 15% drop in electricity costs that was implemented early this year as a result of former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision was backed by the two components remaining at their current levels.
The price of crude oil, which served as the basis for the new fuel tax, increased from Ksh8,140 in January to an average of Ksh14,103 in August.
Energy CS nominee Davis Chirchir stated that lower and more affordable energy is attainable. He pointed out that reorganizing the companies in the power sector will lessen role duplication, which ultimately raises the cost of electricity. He pledged to review the cost structure of parastatals in the power sector, particularly distribution expenses.
“I understand the sector and the challenges that afflict this industry,” he said, assuring the MPs that he was up to the task.
The 62-year-old indicated that his ministry will go back to the drawing board to address the problems in the energy sector, a position he held during the first term of the Jubilee government.
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