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April 21, 2018

It was an error, Kenya power says estimation inflated bills

Kenya Power and Lightning company managing director Ken Tarus with New board Chairman Mahboub Maalim during an Introduction media briefing in Nairobi's Stima Plaza on January 9,2018.Photo/Enos Teche.
Kenya Power and Lightning company managing director Ken Tarus with New board Chairman Mahboub Maalim during an Introduction media briefing in Nairobi's Stima Plaza on January 9,2018.Photo/Enos Teche.

Energy distributor Kenya Power has accepted that there were errors in its billing system, resulting in overcharging of consumers.

“We have now put in place mechanisms to ensure such estimations do not arise and our expectation going forward is that we will have bills that are accurate,” KPLC chief executive Kenneth Tarus said yesterday.

He was speaking during the inauguration of the firm’s new chairperson Mahboub Maalim who has replaced former National Assembly speaker Kenneth Marende who served from December 2014, and retired last December.

Tarus said the inflated bills arose from an upgrade in their billing systems which he says has now been solved.

On Monday, Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter refuted claims that Kenya Power has been backdating electricity bills leading to the current inflated charges.

Citing technical issues in the billing system, he said deliberate efforts to correct the prices are underway, with the latest measures including the introduction of the Time of Use Tariffs, which came into effect on December 1 last year.

The time of use tariffs initiative has seen the reduction of tariffs during off-peak hours by 50 per cent for large consumers.

The electricity distributor has so far connected 6.5 million customers to the national grid.

Moving forward, the power distributor is working on plans to introduce a mobile application to help with the billing process.

The mobile app will help the six million customers know their electricity bills by uploading pictures of their readings on the software platform for accurate billing. The app will enhance transparency and efficiency.

Tarus also refuted claims that the presidential directive to offer 50 per cent offpeak cut on power usage for large businesses and manufacturers that shift their operations to late night hours will affect their revenue growth.

“We have gone ahead to implement the directive, we do not expect that it will affect our revenue, we are looking at the fixed cost of generation which is currently pegged at Sh4.96 per Kwh. So long as these are met, the marginal cost are the cost we are charging for this power and therefor there will be no addition cost coming to KPLC books,” he said.

While the firm recorded an 18.9 per cent system losses in the last financial year, they intend to reduce this to 15 per cent within the next five years.

They also intend to cut their capital expenditure to Sh38 billion this financial year.

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